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By: (1881-1945)

In "Bread" by Charles G. Norris, the author provides a detailed and captivating look at the struggles and triumphs of a family in early 20th century America. The story follows the Bender family as they navigate the challenges of life in a rapidly changing society, focusing on their pursuit of the American dream.

Norris skillfully captures the hardships faced by the Benders as they strive to build a better life for themselves and their children. The characters are well-developed and relatable, making it easy for readers to become emotionally invested in their journey.

The author's vivid descriptions of the bustling city streets and the stark poverty that many families faced create a vivid portrait of the time period. Norris doesn't shy away from depicting the harsh realities of life for many working-class Americans, adding a sense of authenticity to the story.

Overall, "Bread" is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that delves into the complexities of family, class, and ambition. It serves as a reminder of the struggles that many faced in pursuit of a better life, and leaves readers reflecting on the importance of perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity.

Book Description:
Bread by Charles G. Norris reads like a working class Great Gatsby with a tragic female main character. The author is said to have influenced F. Scott Fitzgerald. There is a kind of cadence to the writing, and arc to the story where this can be felt in both similarity and contrast. It follows the life of a woman from young adulthood to middle age between the years of 1905 to 1922 in New York City. She is a stenographer, has chosen the then taboo path of a “wage earner” as opposed to that of mother/wife/homemaker. The descriptions of the inner workings of a publishing house in a time when the printed word was still the apex of information technology are vivid. The social and domestic situations are touching and emotionally telling of how, however much things change, they also stay the same. The metaphor of “Bread” is quaintly heavy handed. “Dedicated to the working women of America”, Norris gives us the “straight dope” in this depiction of life in New York City in the early 20th century. - Summary by WildShimmeringPath

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