Our Daily Bread
A Novel by Jackie Alexander
Stigmatized at birth due to his interracial parentage and reared in a household poisoned by domestic abuse, Kevin Matthews is orphaned at age ten after losing his mother to a violent attack at the hands of his father, who is jailed for the crime. Raised by his paternal grandfather, a Baptist Minister who instills values of the church as a base for recovery, Kevin is content with life in rural Louisiana during the 1970s until disturbing news surfaces regarding his mother’s attack—news that sheds doubt on his father’s guilt, and leads Kevin to relive painful memories. As Kevin grows up, the emotional scars of his childhood cast dark clouds over his relationships with women, and his life begins to spiral out of control. Faced with losing all that he loves, Kevin is forced to confront the man who holds the key to his salvation, his father.
Our Daily Bread is a rich and compelling coming-of-age story of a young boy whose journey takes us from the bayous of Louisiana to the big city lights of New York and Paris. Examining family, race, religion, and the lingering effects of domestic abuse, Our Daily Bread questions what defines one’s legacy: the surroundings we are born into, or the choices we make thereafter.
“Engaging in its lyricism and piercingly honest…Alexander’s voice is distinctive, fluid, and captivating. His keen sense and talent for dialogue; his narrative style, simple but profound; and his humor make ‘Our Daily Bread’ compelling and irresistible.”
—Mohammed Naseehu Ali, author of The Prophet of Zongo Street
“Alexander’s characters stay with you long after reading the last page of ‘Our Daily Bread,’ so much so that you miss them and find yourself wondering how they’re doing in life. With dialogue so skillfully constructed that conversations feel as if they are being eavesdropped on rather than read, this story becomes a part of you.”
—Jill Sorensen, founder of Knock-Out Abuse (www.knockoutabuse.org)