Tomorrow’s Bread -by Anna Jean Mayhew
- a DougInNC book report
- “More than a Review”
This is a writer that a writer can appreciate. Anna Jean Mayhew worked eighteen long years to grow her first book, “The Dry Grass of August.” In four years she delivered “Tomorrow’s Bread.”
Another striving author will surely recognize the perseverance and achievement in these endeavors.
Mayhew builds a story from her experiences living in Charlotte, NC, from her late-found interest in one area of the city, and from her research. She adds to the mix by speaking to experts on some elements in this book.
Another writer comprehends all the ingredients in the stew. The reader finds the completed picture in the cookbook takes quite some time to realize from the author’s descriptive pages.
I liked the appetizers, enjoying tidbit tales in the first half of this book. There was, however, a great deal of chopping. Scenes shifted from block to block, character group to character group, narrator to narrator to narrator (there were three). The flow was not always soup-to-nuts chronological through the late-1950s / early-1960s setting.
Halfway done, I needed spice to increase the flavor. In a scene at the salty ocean’s edge, things came to a boil when two of the novel’s disparate characters converged. That intense heat was brief, then the action returned to simmering like a mid-South summer.
When our brew again needed livening up, the author brought her best in a cemetery scene. Rather than scare the reader, this was a section with sensitivity. The graveyard, a part of the neighborhood, was being moved as it fell victim to urban renewal. There were secrets buried there; they rose to the top, as did the well-crafted writing.
There were two helpings of dessert.
- One protagonist story ends with a treat richly deserved because that person was strong throughout, earning the reader’s desire for their deliverance.
- In the Kindle edition, there is an ‘Ebook Exclusive’ that describes the author’s effort to get “Tomorrow’s Bread” fully baked.
Read this book for appreciation of the writer’s task as well as a worthy story.