Lauren B. Davis Our Daily Bread

ISBN 13: 9781877655722

Our Daily Bread

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9781877655722: Our Daily Bread
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"Backwoods Noir" at its best. For generations the Erskine clan has lived in poverty and isolation on North Mountain, shunned by the God-fearing people of nearby Gideon. Now, Albert Erskine comes down off the mountain hoping to change the future for his brothers and sisters and sets in motion a chain of events that will change everything. Inspired by a true story. From best-selling novelist Lauren B. Davis comes the deeply compassionate story of what happens when we view our neighbors as "The Other," as well as the transcendent power of unlikely friendships.

OUR DAILY BREAD is a compelling narrative set in a closely observed, sometimes dark, but ultimately life-enhancing landscape. Lauren B Davis' vivid prose and empatheticaly developed characters will remain in the reader's mind long after the final chapter has been read." -- Jane Urquhart, prize winning author of AWAY and THE STONE CARVERS.

"I'll never forget this book, the sunning power of the descriptions, the attention to detail, the riveting plot, the fully-realized characters--this is storytelling at its very best." -- Duff Brenna, author of THE BOOK OF MAMIE, THE HOLY BOOK OF THE BEARD, TOO COOL

"From the first chapter of OUR DAILY BREAD...I was hooked--by the characters, by the flow, by the clean, rhythmic prose." -- Thomas E. Kennedy, author of THE COPENHAGEN QUARTET

"Rendered with gorgeous prose, this compact, fast-moving novel features an astonishing range of tones, from hope to heartbreak, from black humor to white-knuckle terror." -- Dexter Palmer, author of THE DREAM OF PERPETUAL MOTION

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From the Author:

One of the things I've been troubled by in the past few years is the increasing polarization I see around me.  It pops up in any number of places - religion, politics both local and international, public rhetoric, the media, etc.  We don't have to look far for examples - perhaps no farther than our prisons, or the town next door, or even in our own families.
I write to figure out what I think about things and to attempt to find meaning.  I try to find metaphors in which to explore my feelings and thoughts on what obsesses me.

As I pondered my concerns about the ever-widening gaps I noticed around me, a story from my past kept rising to the surface.  I lived in Nova Scotia for a brief time in 1972-1973.  While there, I heard stories about a community up on a nearby mountain.  They were terrible stories, involving incest, aborted and deformed babies, prostitution, bootlegging and so forth.  I told myself these dreadful tales couldn't be true. I believed, naively, that if they were true, surely someone would have done something about it. Then, in the early 1980s one of the children of the Goler clan told her story of generational abuse to a teacher.  This teacher came from another province and hadn't been in Nova Scotia very long.  She in turn called an RCMP officer, who also hadn't been in the community for very long. They insisted an investigation begin and eventually many of the clan adults were in jail and the children in foster care.
I was horrified, but also mystified.  If all those rumors were true, why had it taken so long for someone to intervene? Well, the answer seemed to be that the people who lived on the mountain had, for generations, been considered "Those People" as in "What do you expect from those people?"  The people who lived in the prosperous Annapolis Valley nearby, in communities founded hundreds of years earlier on Puritanical religious principles, believed their neighbors were so "Other" as to be beyond the pale.
The extreme marginalization of the community and the terrible repercussions of ostracism haunted me and it seemed the perfect framework to explore how such ordinary people could do such dreadful things, or permit such dreadful things to continue.
I have had several instances in my own life of feeling like the "Other."  Although I explore the theme more personally in my previous novel, THE STUBBORN SEASON, in which a young girl battles the tyranny of living with a mentally ill mother during the Great Depression, in OUR DAILY BREAD the character of Ivy Evans is based on some of my own experiences with marginalization.  My family, afflicted by mental illness and alcoholism, was going through a rough time the summer I was nine.  I was an only child, and adopted, and rather bookish and prone to making up stories, all of which helped to make me 'Other' in the eyes of some of the children in the neighborhood.  That summer, a lady who owned a little antique shop near my house let me hang around the store.  I'm sure she never knew just how much that meant to me, but it was a refuge from loneliness and bullying and I've never forgotten it.

About the Author:

Lauren B. Davis was born in Montreal and lived in France for ten years from 1994-2004. She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, Ron, where she writes (obviously) and leads monthly writing workshop -- SHARPENING THE QUILL. 

Lauren's most recent work is OUR DAILY BREAD, longlisted for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize and named one of the best books of the year by The Boston Globe and The Globe & Mail.  Her first novel, THE STUBBORN SEASON, was a national bestseller and named as one of the Top 15 Bestselling First Novels by Amazon.ca and Books in Canada. It was also chosen by Robert Adams for his prestigious 2003-2004 book review series. Her second novel, THE RADIANT CITY, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Award. She has also published two collections of short stories, AN UNREHEARSED DESIRE (longlisted for the Relit Award) and RAT MEDICINE & OTHER UNLIKELY CURATIVES.  A well-respected creative writing teacher who has taught in Geneva, Paris and Ireland, as well as in the USA and Canada, she is also a past Mentor with the Humber College Creative Writing by Correspondence Program, and past Writer-in-Residence at Trinity Church, Princeton.

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