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The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
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OBC  | 316 comments Mod
What are your thoughts so far? What are you expecting from here on out?


message 2: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather Berkowitz (stingzgrrl) I finished this a couple of days ago. Overall, well written and pretty emotional. Gives a different but pretty relatable perspective on parenting. Would have like to see a few different things but all in all, really good book! Looking forward to more discussions.


Ebonie | 16 comments I am definitely enjoying the book so far and I looking forward to being introduced to the remaining characters.


Linda (mspianobug) The thought that came to my mind was how absolutely human this story is. The author touched on all the elements that would or could possibly happen in a family.

(view spoiler)


Lisa Lingrell (lisa_lingrell) | 11 comments I'm loving everything about this book. L-O-V-I-N-G it! Still early days, but can't see ever being disappointed with it.


message 6: by Rebecca (last edited Dec 25, 2012 12:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rebecca Chapter one was so compelling and climatic. My fear is that the rest of the storyline will pale in compassion to that amazing first chapter. She will have to have a big finish as well. I am a bit worried about the in between given the above mentioned. Being a mother I have been able to somewhat relate to Hattie. So far Floyd and Six have baffled me.


Erika (erikakimberly) | 3 comments What's working beautifully in this text is the character development. From the beginning we are brought into a world where the characters are already swelling with emotions, already active in their daily lives, and already in motion against conflict. We don't wait for anything to happen because so much is already happening when we meet each one. Reading this book as a writer and as a book lover is twice as nice! For now, that's been my greatest take away because the character development is a huge part of why I'm in love with each page.


OBC  | 316 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "I finished this a couple of days ago. Overall, well written and pretty emotional. Gives a different but pretty relatable perspective on parenting. Would have like to see a few different things but ..."

Looking forward to discussing the chapters with you, Heather. Thanks for being a part of the Oprah's Book Club community.


OBC  | 316 comments Mod
Ebonie wrote: "I am definitely enjoying the book so far and I looking forward to being introduced to the remaining characters."

Great to hear, Ebonie. Can't wait for you to meet the other characters as well.


OBC  | 316 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "The thought that came to my mind was how absolutely human this story is. The author touched on all the elements that would or could possibly happen in a family.

[spoilers removed]"


That's what we love about this novel, Linda. We can relate to the emotional journey she is on. Can't wait to hear more from you.


OBC  | 316 comments Mod
Rebecca wrote: "Chapter one was so compelling and climatic. My fear is that the rest of the storyline will pale in compassion to that amazing first chapter. She will have to have a big finish as well. I am a bit w..."

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on chapter one, Rebecca. We agree, the first passage drew us in...we hope you enjoy the rest of the read!


OBC  | 316 comments Mod
Erika Kimberly wrote: "What's working beautifully in this text is the character development. From the beginning we are brought into a world where the characters are already swelling with emotions, already active in their..."

So glad to hear that Ayana Mathis' writing has inspired you, Erika. Character development is a big aspect of this novel...and she does it so well. We hope you continue to fall in love with each page, looking forward to hearing what you think about the rest of the book.


Laurens Bookish Life | 23 comments So far I really like this book. The only thing I don't like is how the chapters skip around. I'm on the Franklin chapter and it seems like as soon as I start getting into a character and his/her story the chapter ends and I have to try and get to know another character. My favorite chapter so far is Ella. I liked hearing Hattie's thoughts. The weirdest chapter and my least favorite has been Alice and Billups.


message 14: by Catherine (new) - added it

Catherine (catjackson) Lolly wrote: "So far I really like this book. The only thing I don't like is how the chapters skip around. I'm on the Franklin chapter and it seems like as soon as I start getting into a character and his/her st..."

That's one of the characteristics I really liked about the novel. Each chapter gave me some deeper insights into the characters and linked back to the other characters in a sort-of looping manner. Yet the story kept moving forward. I finished the novel last week and have been recommending it to all the other readers I know. It' s a wonderful book.


Icewineanne | 112 comments What a wonderful book! Did not feel all the heartbreak of the first chapter, but I really loved the subsequent sections featuring her children Floyd, Six, Alice etc.........


message 16: by Trudy (new) - added it

Trudy (goodreadscomtrudyspages) So, I guess I'm in the minority here. I loved the first chapter and was so excited about reading this book, but for me it has been down hill ever since. I was so connected with young Hattie, trying to keep those babies well. I rooted for her. I hurt for her.However, her "tribes" leave me cold. I do not feel any connection with them at all. I'm just "reading", not really "feeling". I've read so many books, where I mourned the last page because I was going to miss the characters, that probably won't happen here. However, I do not dislike the book. The author is a gifted writer and I would try another book she authors.


message 17: by Erin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Erin | 0 comments Trudy wrote: "So, I guess I'm in the minority here. I loved the first chapter and was so excited about reading this book, but for me it has been down hill ever since. I was so connected with young Hattie, trying..."

I agree with everything you said here! I too was pulled in by the opening chapter but after that no other chapter lived up to it for me. I had such high expectations for this one and unfortunately I felt let down. I didn't really feel connected to many of the characters.


Linda (mspianobug) Trudy and Erin: Would it have been better for you if the whole story had unfolded before you knew about Hattie and August losing the twins? Would that have been an "ahha" moment for you when you realized the reason that Hattie tended to hold herself back and also why August lost interest in becoming an electrician.


message 19: by Trudy (new) - added it

Trudy (goodreadscomtrudyspages) Interesting thought, Linda. Perhaps.


message 20: by Monica (new)

Monica Macpherson | 2 comments I am reading the Six chapter and having trouble wanting to continue. Does it get better? When?


Laurens Bookish Life | 23 comments Mon--
For me it did get better after Six. I really enjoyed the first chapter but it took forever for me to get through Floyd and Six my favorites were Ella and Bell


Ebonie | 16 comments It took me forever to get through the Franklin chapter, so far it is my least favorite.


Brenda Anderson | 8 comments OBC 2.0 wrote: "What are your thoughts so far? What are you expecting from here on out?"

From the 1stchapter, you have no idea what to expect andit's this unknowing that keeps you reading and wondering where it all began for Hattie.


Nadia A (bagambo) | 12 comments I've just finished the first chapter and already I can tell that this book is going to be a terrific read. Hattie is such a compelling character and just reading about poor Jubilee and Philadelphia broke my heart. I am loving the writing and characters so far.


Monise (moniselseward) I recall one of the reviewers likening Ayana's writing to that of Toni Morrison. That is indeed a compliment, but at the same time I hope Ayana understands that she has her own voice. I would have to agree with that reviewer. There are some writers who can simply MOVE you with their words. I find myself conjuring-up images of Hattie, August and their children...I literally see their faces. I can't give me imagination all of the credit for that; Ayana's relationship with descriptive words forces my mind to take me to Philadelphia...to the little, overcrowded house on Wayne Street.

This is one of the best stories I've read in a very long time!


message 26: by Tam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tam (tamcotzias) | 4 comments Started book yesterday (Jan 1, 2013) finished today Jan. 2, 2013 couldn't put it down.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Enjoying this book immensely. I'm still reading -- on Ella's chapter now and I was nervous and scared when Pearl and Benny were approached at the rest stop. The fear was palpable in this scene. I'm sure I'll finish tonight or early tomorrow. Hard to put down.


Latoya (milkdroptatto) | 1 comments I loved her writing. Some of the chapters really haunted me. Especially Alice's long day.


Julie I loved this author's writing style. Her use of the language was truly awesome at times. Overall though, I am not a big fan of the book. While I enjoyed some of the chapters, others I struggled to get through. I thought it was more like a collection of stories rather than a novel.

Did anyone else feel the same?


Athena Macmillan (athenamac) | 3 comments OBC 2.0 wrote: "What are your thoughts so far? What are you expecting from here on out?"

Two chapters in, and i have to say ***moderate spoilers*** that I have a 10 month old son and the first chapter literally had me in tears. Not to mention he has the teething sniffles with a wee cough at the moment, so here I am checking his breathing all through the night...!

Such a promising start though. Loving it!


Renee (renodsgnr) | 1 comments I just finished the book and have to admit that when I first started, I wasn't too crazy about the chapters. After about the 5th or 6th story, for me, the stories began to really come together and illustrate what a troubled family this is. I wanted to know more about the characters but at the same time, felt that each sibling had an even weight to their story.
The descriptions and settings were beautifully written. For this being the author's first book, she did a wonderful job. Brought a lot of human experiences into the tapestry of this family.


Angela Ross Williams (cdlady) | 28 comments Julie, I totally agree with you, this was not a novel but individual stories bound in one book. That could have been the author's intent, however, as a reader that never clicks for me. Your comment also kicked on the light bulb for me in a couple other books by different authors but same style. I never finished them. Thanks for sharing.


message 33: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 05, 2013 06:08PM) (new)

Overall the book is quite melancholy to me. The first chapter was so stirring but from then on it has been kind of up and down for me. The chapters that I get pulled into end abruptly and I want more. I hope author writes another book about one of the children preferably Six, Alice, or Bell.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree Alice's story has really stayed with me. I want to know more about her and what happens in her life.

Latoya wrote: "I loved her writing. Some of the chapters really haunted me. Especially Alice's long day."


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Is it just me or does anyone else loving Willie's "ghostly" character. I love how she just "appears" with her wisdom.


Crystal (infiniteink) I liked this book, but I didn't love it. Some chapters just fell flat to me, and others left me wanting more. Very rarely did I feel like a single vignette contained enough to leave me satisfied.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Vern wrote: "Is it just me or does anyone else loving Willie's "ghostly" character. I love how she just "appears" with her wisdom."

I agree! I also like what Willie said to Bell: "Half of what's wrong with people today is that they ain't got no place to go that makes them peaceful." So true...our surroundings have such a powerful influence on us, don't they?


Cherie (crobins0) Trudy wrote: "So, I guess I'm in the minority here. I loved the first chapter and was so excited about reading this book, but for me it has been down hill ever since. I was so connected with young Hattie, trying..."

No you are not. I felt the same way to all you said.


Cherie (crobins0) Julie wrote: "I loved this author's writing style. Her use of the language was truly awesome at times. Overall though, I am not a big fan of the book. While I enjoyed some of the chapters, others I struggled to ..."

Yes.


Ebony (quietstorm08) Any info on the next book? When is that info revealed?


OBC  | 316 comments Mod
Ebony wrote: "Any info on the next book? When is that info revealed?"

Thanks for your question, Ebony. Since we are still reading The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, the next book has not been selected yet. Keep checking our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates and more discussions.


Nadia A (bagambo) | 12 comments I just finished this book late last night and I am just in awe. I absolutely loved it! I am still digesting it all. Will definitely be telling everyone I know to read this book - it is a must-read!!


Sheila | 5 comments I'm still reading the first chapter and based on what I know of this book, (yes! I stumbled into spoilers!) I think I'm gonna cry my eyes out.


OBC  | 316 comments Mod
Nadia wrote: "I just finished this book late last night and I am just in awe. I absolutely loved it! I am still digesting it all. Will definitely be telling everyone I know to read this book - it is a must-read!!"

We're so glad you enjoyed the book, Nadia. We hope you'll keep checking back here for new discussion questions.


message 45: by Jody (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jody (beaume) | 32 comments I finished this book a couple days ago it was quite inspiring and the author did a wonderful job letting us into each person's life and how everything affected their lives.


Monise (moniselseward) I have about 30 pages to go and this book has been eye-opening. As parents, we try to do what we think is best for our kids. Reading Hattie's story really made me think about that because, although she made some poor decisions/choices, she did what she thought was best (for the times) for her kids. Like a lot of blacks who left the South for better living and working conditions, Hattie realized that life is hard and full of challenges and disappointments no matter where you land. I do admire her determination to provide a better life for her kids, despite her husband's inability to provide and his immaturity.


Moon Rose (verhonica_myrrh) | 5 comments I'm half way through and so far, I'm loving Six's chapter shrouded with some kind of unfounded spiritual mystery and I'm wanting some more of Alice and Billups chapter, where Oprah is correct to say that it seems to be the strangest chapter in the book, yet for me, it is the most engrossing part to date. Alice's opulence mingled with the fragility of her character as opposed to her mother, Hattie's plunge to charity built within the strength of her character, is a powerful irony of sorts that somehow illustrates the uncertainty of happiness despite the security affluence can offer. For me, these chapters can be taken out of the book and could stand on their own.


message 48: by Kaya (new) - added it

Kaya (omgkayareads) I finished the book and I really enjoyed reading it. The book was well written. However, I was left wanting more. Most of the chapters are left as cliffhangers and many issues are not resolved. Maybe this how the author wanted to compile the book. I would have wanted more resolution. It gives a real-life portrait of what people may have went through during the Great Depression and to see it from a multi-generational perspective was a nice touch.


Carolyn Moon | 5 comments This book is haunting and I must say reminds me somewhat of Toni Morrison's style yet it was uniquely Ayana's wonderful use of language and imagery that is hers alone.

The tragedy of Hattie's life to me is allowing her ability to be warm and loving die with an earlier losses and the price her offspring had to pay for this lifelong trauma.

Stereotypes abound but we know that there is some truth that is part of these formulaic perspectives. The problem that most people of color fall victim to is that it becomes a group temperament for outsiders and sadly for many within it. This particular genus may have contributed significantly to the success of Ms. Morrison, Ms. Mathis and others who have the gift of weaving these tragic and memorable tales.


message 50: by Kim (last edited Jan 12, 2013 08:15AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim Galla (catmommie) I got the ebook earlier than I expected and I started it last night.

I'm just starting Six (the name reminded me of the Seinfeld episode).

It seems like the characters are all running from or seeking something. Hattie and her family left Georgia seeking a better life. She even ran to the neighbor for help w/the twins. Floyd was running, looking for the love he didn't get from Hattie. Hattie emotionally hid herself in depression, away from the reality of her loss. However, she did manage to have nine more children afterwards? Was she trying to replace the lost twins, hoping each new child would bring her happiness?

Six, well, I'm not sure yet, only three pages in, but he liked to hide, too.


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