Reviews

BOOKLIST REVIEW

Tomorrow's Bread. By Anna Jean Mayhew

Many major cities have tales of urban renewal, the destruction of so-called blight in favor of big, new buildings. Tomorrow’s Bread is based on the real Black middle-class neighborhood of Brooklyn in Charlotte, North Carolina, whose residents in the 1960s realize that the city is pushing them out. The story is narrated by Loraylee Hawkins, a young mother who must keep her relationship with her white boss a secret; Eben Polk, a local pastor and caretaker of the cemetery in which many Brooklyn residents have family; and Persy Marshall, the wife of the man leading the city’s efforts, who knows she must do more than stand by and watch. Mayhew (The Dry Grass of August, 2011) leads readers down the neighborhood streets and into its businesses and the lives of its residents and doesn’t shy away from showing the neighborhood as it really was, a mixture of good and bad, but always home. Readers drawn to the welldefined characters of Stephanie Powell Watts and Thomas Mullen will find Brooklyn tugging at their hearts. — Tracy Babiasz