Tomorrow's Bread by Anna Jean Mayhew

Tomorrow's Bread

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 restaurants, schools, theaters, churches, and night clubs. There are shotgun shack...

Details Tomorrow's Bread

TitleTomorrow's Bread
Release DateMar 26th, 2019
PublisherKensington Publishing Corp.
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

Reviews Tomorrow's Bread

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    EXCERPT: 'Misery is when you heard on the radio that the neighbourhood you live in is a slum, but you always thought it was home.' - Langston HughesHome will never again be 1105 Brown Street, Charlotte 2, North Carolina, where I was born in 1936, where Shushu left me when she went to Chicago, and 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 ...
  • Pamela
    I loved The Dry Grass of August. And though it was a long time between novels, I loved Tomorrow's Bread. as much, if not moreso. Ms. Mayhew is absolutely a brilliant, intuitive writer of southern literature who creates characters of such nuanced complexity they feel tangibly real. As do their circumstances. Yes, I simply love her writing style. Those who enjoy southern literature, or atmospheric literature dealing with social gritty issues (era s...
  • 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 ...
  • Pam Kelley
    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 los...
  • Sue
    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...
  • 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 ...
  • Carla Johnson-Hicks
    I had never heard about Brooklyn an area of Charlotte, North Carolina before reading this book. I was shocked that this event occurred in the 1960s. After reading this story, I read some more online to learn about this tragedy. is an article with comments from some of the actual citizens who were affected by this event.In the 1960s calling it urban renewal, the city councillors in Charlotte, North Carolina...
  • Carol
    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
  • Cheryle
    While the historical facts in the book were interesting I did not find the characters someone I wanted to invest time with. The author did not "flesh out" the characters in a manner that made me want to know more about them or their plight. The book seemed disjointed to me as it skipped from one point of view to another in succeeding chapters. I thought the book had promise but did not deliver a strong enough storyline to succeed.In 1961 Charlott...
  • Everydayreader1
    In 1961, a mostly African American neighborhood is slated for demolition in the guise of urban development and progress. Though the residents come together to try and stop it, the dye is set. Loraylee Hawkins is a young woman who is caught between two worlds at a time of change, as she raises her son, Hawk, and cares for her aging Grandmother. She finds love, but that too is not an easy path because she is black, and he is white.This is an amazin...
  • MissSusie
    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 HughesThe city and some businessmen shoved ...
  • Mary Fabrizio
    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 di...
  • Barb Martin
    Urban redevelopment to eradicate blight sounds like a great idea unless you're a person of color living in 1960s North Carolina, and your neighborhood, your church and your cemetery are slated to be obliterated.Anna Jean Mayhew has a charming writing style that doesn't preach, but she certainly gets across her points about the inequities facing blacks in the South. The story is told from three viewpoints, including that of a sympathetic, but esse...
  • Christine
    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.
  • Dawn Frazier
    I enjoyed this book, it was a quick easy read, and easy to follow. It truly paints a picture of what it was like to live in the South in the 60s. It is told from three different perspectives, Loraylee, Persy, and Reverend Polk. I enjoyed all of the characters different stories, but in the end it felt as though they didn't quite come together. I felt as though something was missing, or left out. I would have liked to learn more about Persy, and wh...
  • 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...
  • Kiersten
    This novel does a beautiful job of exploring racial issues during a time of change in America's history. It's really a story about belonging, not belonging, and obstacles to forming relationships. What I love most is the close focus Mayhew uses to fully put us in the shoes of each character. You feel Loraylee's nervousness when she applies for a job at the cafeteria. You feel Persy's conflicted feelings over her husband's project of urban renewal...
  • Susan
    The premise of this book is an interesting and heartbreaking one, especially as Mayhew describes Brooklyn and what it means to the people who live there. Seen through the eyes of Loraylee and Reverend Polk, the community comes alive for the reader in all its variety, both good and bad. I enjoyed getting to know Brooklyn's residents and felt like I knew them. The inclusion of Persy as a narrator threw me a little as her sections seemed out of plac...
  • Lily
    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.
  • Victoria Zieger
    I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I was honestly very bored with this. The writing was good and descriptive but the story jumped around too much for me and it took a long time for it to get into anything. It was hard to really stay invested in this one.
  • Debbie
    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.
  • Verne
    Great book
  • Tammy
    Tomorrow's Bread takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina in the early 1960's as urban renewal threatens the neighborhood of Brooklyn. The people living in this neighborhood are predominately black and poor. It's sad that the city forced people out of this neighborhood where many had lived for generations. And all because the rich and privileged considered this area a blight on the city. This was a fast read for me and I enjoyed it!
  • Angel wells
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I loved the storyline and the strong family connections. This book was easy to read and follow. It's a book that I recommend.
  • Emily
    This is an important book about urban redevelopment in the 1960s. I didn't really know much about it but after reading this I am curious to learn more. The story takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina where a black neighborhood called Brooklyn is being taken over by the government and its residents are being forced to relocate. The city makes a case that the neighborhood is "70% blight" but the residents feel that number is exaggerated and they...
  • Kelly
    Really enjoyed this book set in my hometown and written by a local author. Tells the story of the redevelopment, aka gentrification, of the Brooklyn neighborhood in 1960s Charlotte. Fictional, but well-researched, account of how urban renewal affects people being displaced from their long-time homes. Brooklyn was a black community which happened to occupy prime real estate in what is now uptown Charlotte. Coveted by city planners for redevelopmen...
  • Vicky
    This is a charming book that’s a relatively quick read if you don’t mind first person/present tense interwoven with third person/past tense (varies by chapter and character). In this book, the author weaves a story of Black families in a 1950s-60s neighborhood called Brooklyn—part of Charlotte, N.C. In the story, the good white people of Charlotte are determined to “improve” parts of their town through Urban Renewal. To do so, they disp...
  • Margie Shaw
    Tomorrow’s Bread by author Anna Jean Mayhew is a story of Southern Historical Fiction. It takes place in the 1960’s in a small section of Charlotte, North Carolina, then called Brooklyn. It’s mostly an all black community. It goes on to tell about the urban renewal and how folks were forced out of their homes, their homesteads and their community where they had lived for many years. This was all supposed to be better for the residents, or s...
  • Camille
    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, ...