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The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

By Ayana Mathis

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
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  • Hardcover: Jan 2013,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2013,
    256 pages.

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Diane S. (01/26/13)

Twelve Tribes
The book opens with a heart rendering tragedy which quickly captures the reader's interest. The great migration, the early 1900's and a mother with her three daughters move to Philadelphia to escape the Jim Crow south. Things do not work out as planned, Hattie has a hard life but does manage to keep nine children alive with very little help. Hattie is a formidable character, she has a strength and resiliency that keeps her going, but this does not mean she does not carry hurts and scars. The structure of this novel was a bit difficult for me to get used to at first. It is divided and narrated in chapters by some of her children, her husband and Hattie herself. The ones narrated by Hattie were my favorite. This novel follows Hattie and her children for over a decade, and by the end of the book I really felt for Hattie and love the fact that even at the end of the book she never gives up hope. A well written first novel, told in very matter of fact prose, in somewhat of a different narrative style. Well worth reading.
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Beyond the Book:
  The Great Migration

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