The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2012 - Fiction - 243 pages
4 Reviews
The newest Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection.
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.

This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide. 

What people are saying - Write a review

great read

User Review  - sehctaw -

If I am still reading at one in the morning it means that I am loving the book. Thoroughly enjoyed the story. Captivated by the characters. Would love sequel highlighting other family members. Read full review

Review: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

User Review  - Djuanna Brockington - Goodreads

While I wanted to love this book, I just didn't. That's not to say that I didn't like it, but it was so heavy at times. Well-written and entertaining, but it started to feel like all those episodes of ... Read full review

All 2 reviews »

About the author (2012)

Ayana Mathis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is her first novel.

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