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Our Daily Bread Paperback – Apr 3 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st Edition edition (April 3 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1443413828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1443413824
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #94,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

*Starred Review* " Powerful, harrowing, and deeply unsettling. It keeps you reading as your blood pressure mounts...proceeds like a noose gradually tightening...stark, beautiful, sad and frankly terrifying...finely crafted, with careful attention to characterization, style, and pacing. It succeeds on every level." --Quill & Quire September 1, 2011

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Review

"Powerful, harrowing, and deeply unsettling. It keeps you reading as your blood pressure mounts... proceeds like a noose gradually tightening... stark, beautiful, sad and frankly terrifying... finely crafted, with careful attention to characterization, style, and pacing. It succeeds on every level." -- The Quill & Quire

"Absorbing, strikingly-written, and subtly-honed . . . a page-turner!" -- Gordon Hauptfleisch

"Full of remarkable moments . . . a level of detail that puts us in the beating hearts of imperiled souls . . . simple, brave, powerful scenes, skillfully written with an anger no less effective for being tempered - scenes that sit with the soul long after the book is closed." -- Alan Cuymn, The Globe & Mail

Named as one of the "Very Best Books of 2011" by The Globe & Mail and the Boston Globe.

"Thrilling . . . unflinching . . . unforgettable. Davis makes us care about her characters . . . imaginatively transformed by exquisite prose. Her moral fiction calls us to empathize, read, imagine and hear. This is a story of getting lost in the woods, of meeting the monster and getting out alive." -- Jean Randich, Truthdig.com

"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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Lauren B. Davis writes books from a strong emotional and yet tender perspective.

With reference to the Lord's Prayer in the title, one expects to find inferences to the core traditions that religion can bring to a community and it's people. There is also a dark side, a brooding side to those tenants that can unravel, destroy and debase al that is good within any traditions of family. This is the paradox found within Our Daily Bread.

The story felt like an slow motion unfolding of real degradation. The true colours of the paradox of isolated pride of characters within the hidden horrors of abuse. The book exposes how the supposed prejudices against 'others' exist with the whispered wonderings of what really goes on 'there' and how the suppositions were mild compared to the reality.

I felt the strength of the characters, but it was a strength holding much discomfort and I recognized it somehow. Every evening as I read page after page, it was with a feeling of distaste for much that wasn't being said. It was like the 'elephant in the room,' where secrets hide other secrets. This book was so much about what wasn't written.

Our Daily Bread reinforced a reality in life, where ugly and evil does exist and can permeate a small community. Where rescue just didn''t happen.
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Lauren B Davis is a master in expressing human emotions and the realities of life.
This story is so sad, yet so hopeful.
From the start, I was swept into the world of this story, and the author's extraordinary writing style .
I read over 40 books a year, and this is the finest novel I have read in several years.
I give it 5 stars +
Cecilia
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Lauren B. Davis' new novel, OUR DAILY BREAD (Wordcraft of Oregon, September 2011), is a story of insiders and outsiders -- and it's also about the difference between outsiders (community members who internalize feelings of difference) and outcasts (those who are banished by the community). The situation of the story is based on the infamous Goler clan of Nova Scotia, who were finally charged and brought to trial in the 1980s after generations of child abuse, rape, incest, and other violent crimes. In Davis' backstory, she tells of wanting to write about how communities can marginalize people into "us" and "them." Having lived in Nova Scotia in the early 1970s for a short time, she'd heard stories of the Goler clan, and she explains that "the extreme marginalization of the community and the terrible 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."

Set in the fictional town of Gideon, OUR DAILY BREAD is told from multiple points of view. Main characters are bread deliveryman Tom Evans and his two children, fifteen-year-old Bobby and ten-year-old Ivy; Dorothy Carlisle, a widow who owns an antique shop and befriends Ivy Evans when she is bullied by classmates walking home from school past the store; and Albert Erskine, who longs for a life different from the one he was born into and forms a friendship with younger Bobby Evans. Each of these main characters has secrets, and each feels apart from the others in their own way. At the heart of this story is loneliness through isolation, abandonment, and exclusion. Issues are substance abuse and addiction, poverty, and ignorance.

The fictional Erskine clan is based on the Goler clan.
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Format: Paperback
What a crackin' good read!

This story caught my attention because I grew up in Nova Scotia. I was about 13 when the Goler story broke and I clearly remember the shock and horror that ricocheted around the province when the truth about the unspeakable abuse came to light. The specter of abuse hangs in the background throughout the story (after some key crystalization in the first chapter) but it's ultimately not the focal point. Using that backdrop, Davis has done an amazing job of looking at the other side of the story - that is, from the point of view of the nearby town/community. It difficult not to be incredulous - how could people know or suspect that these horrible things were going on and nobody spoke up???

Davis emphasizes the concept of 'other' as the key to the apathy in the fictional town of Gideon. Years of ridicule, isolation and misunderstanding set up the perfect conditions for the Erskine clan to fester on the mountain. Townspeople being more interested in rolling their eyes at the latest bit of gossip rather than reaching out and speaking out. I especially enjoyed Davis' use of the 'good Christian' in Dorothy's friend Mabel to bring this point home.

Dorothy was my favourite character of the book. Smart, well-read, and charitable, but also flawed. She knew enough to provide clothes, food, books, etc., but not to call in the authorities? And Albert - such a tragic figure. I was routing for him all the way through. The final few chapters read like a pulse-pounding thriller - scary and creepy and excellent all at once.

I can see why 'Our Daily Bread' was nominated for the Giller prize. An excellent read.
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