Hattie Shepherd is no ordinary girl. At fifteen, she flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hopeful that she'll be able to make a better life for herself. This is 1923, though, and racism and sexism abound in Southern US. Instead of a better life, she finds a good-for-nothing husband and a bleak future.
Before long, she starts to suffer all the more, as she realizes her new husband can do nothing to save her. Hattie can do nothing but watch as her two youngest children succumb to an illness she could have easily prevented. She raises her remaining children with hard love, certain they are to face the same hardships she will...but what of her own future? Packed in the pages of this novel lays hope in desperation and the tale of a woman who just wouldn't quit.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is a riveting collection of tales sure to please just about any reader.
Ayana Mathis is a newcomer to the American author scene. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she comes from a long line of strong, independent women. Before writing books, she found work as a waitress, a researcher, and for a short time as a freelance writer. In 2011, she earned her MFA in writing from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. She has been given several literary honors, including a membership to Oprah's book club. Her books mainly concern Southern American life, and draw heavily from her background. She started writing at the age of eight.
An 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
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. Download and start listening now!