Reviews for Twelve Tribes of Hattie


AudioFile Reviews 2013 February
Ayana Mathis has written an amazing saga of one woman, her tortuous trials and seemingly endless tribulations, and the resiliency with which she faces life. Adenrele Ojo, Bahni Turpin, and Adam Lazarre-White infuse every ounce of life possible into the enormous cast of characters. Their voices shimmer with rage, sizzle with sex, and darken with despair as almost every possible misfortune unfolds to Hattie and her nine children. An Oprah's Book Club pick, the novel captures the endless travails and tragedies Hattie experiences, but much more than the story of one woman's family, it is an engrossing, heartbreaking, clear-eyed exploration of the hardships faced by the Southern African-Americans who went North at the beginning of the twentieth century, hoping for a better life. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine

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Library Journal Express Reviews
Mathis's debut novel, an Oprah Book Club selection, features strong characters who find hidden strength after enduring tragedy. The novel opens with 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd's 1923 move from Georgia to Philadelphia and goes on to tell the stories of her children, starting with the loss of infant twins Philadelphia and Jubilee. Hattie's interactions with her nine other children are filled with discipline, difficult choices, and the courage and tenderness none of them will see until much later. Told to great effect in 12 separate voices, for which the audio edition employs three readers--Adenrele Ojo, Bahni Turpin, and Adam Lazarre-White--the book's individual stories are emblematic of a half-century in America. Verdict Highly recommended for all fiction collections. [The Knopf hc was a New York Times best seller.--Ed.]--Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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