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Tomorrow's Bread

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  36 reviews
From the author of the acclaimed The Dry Grass of August comes a richly researched yet lyrical Southern-set novel that explores the conflicts of gentrification—a moving story of loss, love, and resilience.

In 1961 Charlotte, North Carolina, the predominantly black neighborhood of Brooklyn is a bustling city within a city. Self-contained and vibrant, it has its own restauran
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corp.
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  62 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ

All. The. Stars.

I love southern historical fiction, it is one of my favourite genres. In this story the texture of time and place is exceptional and Ms. Mayhew certainly knows her craft. How do you describe a book that’s so well written you can feel what it was like to live in the south during the 60's? My heart soared for the minor successes of the characters in this book and yet I’m saddened by the reality of the past. This book will grab you and within the first few chapters you'll be rootin
Pam Kelley
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the 1960s, under the guise of a program called "urban renewal," the nation bulldozed hundreds of black neighborhoods, destroying communities and undermining hard-won racial progress.

Anna Jean Mayhew sets her page-turning novel in one of these now-lost communities, the Brooklyn neighborhood of Charlotte, as its residents await its destruction.

Mayhew tells the story through three characters. Two are Brooklyn residents – a pastor about to lose his church and a young mother who must hide her re
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the early 60s, many large cities started a plan called urban renewal - it was a way to make space for the new large buildings that they planned in the future. In many places, urban renewal meant displacement of the people who lived in the neighborhoods that were being destroyed to make way for the future. Tomorrow's Bread is about urban renewal in Charlotte, NC, where an entire area was wiped out called Brooklyn. The residents of Brooklyn were mostly black and poor but they had a community of ...more
Donna Everhart
Anna Jean Mayhew's latest novel, TOMORROW'S BREAD, is a work of southern fiction that pulls quietly, persistently at the heart. The story's time is 1961, the setting an almost all black community nestled within the greater city of Charlotte, North Carolina, known as Brooklyn, a self-sufficient, thriving, close knit neighborhood where families have lived for generations.

Times are changing, progress is on the march and with it comes the idea that Brooklyn is not good for Charlotte. "Blight" is th
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
The Langston Hughes poems at the beginning of the book and at the end say it all about this beautiful, touching book.

"Misery is when you heard on the radio that the neighborhood you live in is a slum but you always thought it was home." Langston Hughes

This was a wonderful family story, if sad in ways, but this family truly shows you what it means to be a family.

The gentrification of “blight” in Charleston but the people living in those houses didn’t think of them as blight they were home and neighborhood.
“Misery is when you heard on the radio that the neighborhood you live in is a slum, but you’ve always thought it was home.”
---Langston Hughes

The city and some businessmen shoved these people out of their homes without giving them enough to
Melinda Christensen
"Misery is when you heard on the radio that the neighborhood you live in is a slum but you always thought it was home." -Langston Hughes

"Home will never again be Brown Street, Charlotte 2, North Carolina, where I was born in 1936 . . . where Bibi and Uncle Ray brought me up from a baby to the mother I am now. I'm glad Bibi never saw the day when the city say we got to move. She bought and paid for our home working forty years as a maid . . . ."

As I read this novel, I became more and more confuse
Mary Fabrizio
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
There's not much by way of plot in this book, despite the fact the main characters are facing the biggest change of their lives. There's this feeling though, that things are building within subplots, only to kind of fizzle out. The graveyard "mystery" doesn't ever feel "solved," while the relationship between Loraylee and Archie is drastically altered without us going thru the change with them. And what was the point of the marital tension and distance between the white couple that never built t ...more
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
For me, this book was just okay. The story is told in multiple voices. I didn't think it flowed well. Also, I didn't "feel" the characters.

I received an advance copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story, and the writing is beautiful and poignant. I found Anna Jean Mayhew particuarly skilled at balancing the three unique voices in the novel, especially Loraylee's voice. The historical setting feels real without ever being too much or too showy. You're right there with all the characters from the very beginning. They're all flawed and human, so it's so easy to empathise and root for them.
I can count on one hand, two at most, the number of times I've cried while reading a boo
Janet Morrison
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Mayhew weaves the stories of several families together in Tomorrow’s Bread. She puts names and faces on the destructive aspect of Urban Renewal, a federal government program in the 1960s tasked to remove “blight” from inner cities. This well-researched novel takes place in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina in the early 1960s.

I think Ms. Mayhew captured the essence of a place and time not so long ago in our history – yet a place that is gone forever. This well-researched
In the beginning, this story was a bit confusing about who was who and what was what. Things soon became clearer, however, and it became apparent that this was more a series of character snapshots, than a plot driven story. The characters were interesting enough individuals, and author Anna Jean Mayhew obviously did her research on the destruction of Brooklyn, the largest black neighborhood in Charlotte in the 1960s. It was destroyed in the name of "urban renewal", and the residents were patroni ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was provided an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway.

The book provides three separate aspects, which I struggled to get through in the first few chapters. Some important information came a bit later than I would have liked, but once it was all received, everything started making sense and becoming interesting.

Overall, it was a good read. I enjoyed the aspect of Persy, being an outsider of the neighborhood bulldozing, yet still being affected by an internal struggle. Loraylee was such a beautiful c
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the South in America the year 1961 still sees a lot of segregation and discrimination is rife. Loraylee lives with family and her young son Hawk whose parentage though suspect is never discussed either within the family or outside.

Urban renewal at the time seems to only focus on "black" neighbourhoods considered a blight on the environment due to its neglect, its lack of facilities and curb appeal so hundreds of these neighbourhoods are razed to the ground in the face of "development". When B
Kathleen Gray
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Told in the alternating voices of a young mother, a preacher, and the wife of a man on the planning board, this lovely but sad novel is about the impact of "urban renewal" on a long standing comment in Charlotte, North Carolina. Brooklyn is an "old" African American part of town which the planners think can be better. Better for whom? Not necessarily for the people who live there. Loraylee, whose son was fathered by the white man she loves but can not appear with in public isn't a winner. Paster ...more
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book through Goodreads First-reads. This did not influence my review.
This is the first book I have read by this author. I had a very hard time getting into it, although he subject matter was quite interesting. This story is about a black neighborhood in North Carolina in the 1960's. In the interest of 'progress' the neighborhood of Brooklyn is scheduled to be demolished for 'up and coming' development. This is the story of the impact this redevelopment has on many of its resident
Jeanmarie Rosen
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Was Urban Renewal the right thing to do? Was the promise that was made just to destroy communities that the government felt threatened by? Was it worth it to displace generations of families?
This is the culture and era in Tomorrow's Bread.
The characters are fighters and families that are looking to this as a better life.

You will enjoy the background interwoven into the story line. I was too young to know or even remember thid situation as I too grew up in a northern neighborhood. You will never
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tomorrow’s Bread by Anna Jean Mayhew is historical fiction set during the 1950‘s and 1960‘s.. Mayhew has written another enlightening account of the segregated south. Her stories help the reader to understand the daily struggles of that time and place. I liked that the characters are everyday people that you might know. I have looked forward to reading a second book by Ms.Mayhew and it was well worth the wait. Now I will anxiously await a third book. I received a complimentary copy of this book ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
The time lapses were not clear at all, the viewpoints were told in third person and first person, all of which made it hard to follow. I read the whole thing because I did like the characters, but they didn't grow a ton and it all just kind of ended. I liked the premise and think the book easily could have been set today rather than the 1950s (sad if you think about it), but it was not my favorite.
Apr 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
I really struggled to get into this one. While I appreciate the multiple points of view, I feel as if the narrative jumped around. I also feel as if more character development could have been done. I'm disappointed that I could not relate to the high ratings may others have given this one.

*I received an advanced copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.
rhonda  granquist
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This was good, the historical facts are really interesting. This takes place in Brooklyn, a city within the city of Charlotte N Carolina. Brooklyn has been condemned and the city is going to be bulldozed. The residents have been told they have to leave. The characters in this book are lovable. Segregation is in tact. This shows the difficulties growing up black in a white city
Susan Morris
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Mayhew described Charlotte, North Carolina in the 1960's so well, that I could "see" the neighborhood of Brooklyn. This is a touching story of racial divide and so-called urban development told through voices of those living there.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was interesting and gave true insight into an era long gone. I could feel the tension and understood the characters. Well written and I highly recommend.
Echo Heron
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Csimplot Simplot
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Reviewing for Booklist--more to come 2/9/18
Donna Foster
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
Amazed by the outdated thinking, old-fashioned ways and somber mood in every chapter of this book.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book a lot.
Marsha Paulekas
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Book. Historical fiction about a black neighborhood being targeted for revitalization aka destruction during the early 60 in Charlotte NC.
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Anna Jean (A.J.) Mayhew’s first novel, The Dry Grass of August, won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Book Award from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. She has been writer-in-residence at Moulin à Nef Studio Center in Auvillar, France, and was a member of the first Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Writers' Network. A native of Charlotte, NC, A ...more