The twelve Tribes of hattie

Just Finished: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Wow! Oprah's book club selections tend to be a hit or miss (mostly miss) for me but I truly enjoyed this one.  It's the story of Hattie Shephard, who migrated to Philadelphia in the 1920s from Georgia to make a better life for herself after her father is murdered.  This story spans over 50 years as the author explores the lives and many hardships of Hattie and her children.

Don't expect a lot of happiness in this story. Hattie is cold and disconnected from her family, but feels she has to be that way because the world isn't loving nor forgiving.  She suffers in a loveless, penniless marriage and in so many ways never gets over the loss of twin babies from her first pregnancy. I do feel the loss of her 7 month old twins contributes heavily to how distant she is from her other children.

This story is quite depressing but so well-written.  I love Mathis' writing style.

The book reads like a lot of short stories, as Mathis discusses each child's life as an adult.  The book isn't typical at all and I appreciate literature like this. I like books that don't tie everything together perfectly because I want to draw my own conclusions and think about what I read days later.

I enjoyed The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.