The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Digital Edition)
By Ayana Mathis
- Release Date: 2012-12-06
- Genre: Literary
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Digital Edition) Ayana Mathis Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection: this special eBook edition of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis features exclusive content, including Oprah’s personal notes highlighted within the text, and a reading group guide.
The arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.
A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family.
In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.
Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is wondrous from first to last—glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life. An emotionally transfixing page-turner, a searing portrait of striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, an indelible encounter with the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of the American dream.
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User reviews about this book
By Mama K Says...
I really wanted to love this book. I tried reading it twice over the span of two years and I never got further than the chapter on "Six". The chapters were SO LONG and disjointed. I didn't get the feeling that it would all somehow come together in the end. Maybe I'll try a third time when I'm have absolutely nothing else to read.
I really enjoyed this book! Love the author's "voice" - I found the honesty and authenticity of the characters engrossing. I was smitten from the first page - when we witness Hattie's greatest loss, which impacts who she is and how she loves for the rest of her life. I was sorry to see it end, and it in fact ended much to abruptly for me, leaving me asking, but what happened to... as it's difficult not to want the rest of the story. It seems, incomplete somehow, in that we just don't know.
I don't know what to say about the book. I thought it would have been a great novel to read. However, I found the chapters long and drawn out and complete. Each child had a chapter except Ruthie and Ella. Whatever happen to Floyd? What drove Cassie to her mental illness? And Alice and Billy. I guess I cant understand lofty writing. Oh btw I totally skipped the Franklin chapter as well as some pages in the chapters.
TASTY -all consuming
From the first chapter, be prepared to taste every word. The emotions depicted in each chapter consume you...I cried, laughed, truly felt the description so powerfully, the best sense I can apply to this novel is tasty...I tasted. I touched. I smelled. I felt every single word. Thank you Ms. Mathis.
Twelve tribes of Hattie
This book made me stop, go back and finish reading at a much slower pa e because I did not want it to end. Outstanding book. From the south to north migration of Black people to the 1980's when we really started dealing with mental illness, this book takes you on a slow ride through the lives of a family that is disconnected yet tied together. Is a mother's love about hugs and misses or food on the table and a roof over your head?
Not impressed. I tried with this book. Author is from my home town of Brooklyn NY. I wanted to like it, really i did. Although not a total fail, this novel did not move me. For all the praise Oprah gave it I thought the story would stay with me, characters memorable. I got none of the above. I couldn't even keep track of all of Hattie's kids. While smartly written and creative, where's the basic structure... Plot, climax and most importantly conclusion . It annoyed me. I get the moral of the story... Blah, blah..Hattie ruined her kids life by not showing them enough love... Blah!! Hattie was angry about her disappointments...blah.. Not impressed.
For me, it was not a great read, just an okay read. I feel this way not because of the authors writing, she is good. For me it was just an okay read but nothing more than that...meh. My soul did not awaken, I wasn't riveted, and for me, it wasn't a cant put down page turner. Just a glimpse into the lives of Hatties grown children. It may have been better if the characters were presented in a way that made me care about them, but the development wasn't there to create that feeling.
Engulfed from the beginning
Thank you Ms. Mathis! Thank you Oprah for yet another great recommendation to a powerful and entertaining book!
Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down. The main character, Hattie, is developed through flashbacks and the stories of her 11 kids and granddaughter. Quite an interesting way to lay out a book and develop characters!
I feel like I've learned a bit about why people develop and act the way they do.
Truth in its rawest form!
Twelve Tribes of Hattie speaks your most inner thoughts out loud.
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