Our Daily Bread
Lauren B. Davis
Wordcraft of Oregon, Oct 1 2011, $15.00
The people of Gideon ignore the Erskine clan that lives nearby on North Mountain. They see their neighbors as beyond redemption who fornicate like beasts and perform sexual depraved acts on children; most of whom are the offspring of incest. The elders used to sell moonshine, but find meth more lucrative though that turns them even more violently abusive.
Albert Erskine is the only adult who turns his back on the mountain. He lives as a hermit in an isolated cabin. His dream is to leave, but Albert knows if he does his family will kill him because nobody leaves the clan and the children need the little protection he can give.
In Gideon fifteen year old Bobby Evan’s mother ran off with a man leaving her teenage son angry and bitter. His father Tom drowns himself in alcohol while his sister Ivy fled to the haven of Widow Dorothy Carlisle and Albert offer his friendship to Bobby. Danger stalks the mountain residents when Albert tries to help Bobby and himself.
The God-fearing Gideonites fail to act to prevent child abuse including rape and incest but though they feel shame for not living up to the Lord’s expectations they rationalize that intervention is not their problem as “we’ are pious and “they” are sinners. Albert forces everyone to look deep into their soul as he protects the clan’s children and though he befriends Bobby he also tries to keep him safe from self destructing as best as he can. Timely with the Jeff’s trial in Texas and based on a true story, readers will appreciate this dark family drama that asks everyone not what God can do for you, but what can you do for God.