Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

Disappointed is the best way to describe my review of "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie".  There are moments when the author had beautiful prose but the story itself was meaningless.  The only thing to take away from this novel is that despite the fact that this family migrated from the South to the North, to avoid the tumultuous violence, racism and oppression, they continued a life of self loathing and a bitter existence.  

The story does not flow well and never tells the entire story of even one of the characters.  I don't know how the author came up with the title since Hattie only had eleven children.  This story is a mishmash of heartache.

SYNOPSIS by Barnes & Noble
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 novel, 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.

RATING - 2 STARS - I Didn't Like It

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