Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie  By Ayana Mathis    Hattie Shepherd moves with her family from Georgia to Philadelphia during the 1920's. They immediately encounter a new world where they can hold their heads high and walk on the sidewalk past a white person without stepping into the street. But life is not so easy for Hattie, although beautiful and smart Hattie marries August who becomes the great love and the disappointment of her life. She has many children, struggles through their illnesses, poverty and August's constant philandering yet her will to survive is as strong as her intense sadness. This novel is almost like 12 short stories connected through Hattie. The characters are intense and the writing is extraordinary leaving the reader to imagine every detail. The only downside is the inexplicable sadness of Hattie, that is so strong it has a life of its own. The glimpse of mental illness is heartbreaking and appears hereditary throughout this powerful novel. There is no doubt that the characters will linger in your heart and imagination long after the last page. Highly recommend this authors first novel.

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