Books I didn't like · Holiday Reads

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

I read this in two days while on holiday.

Perhaps it was because it was one of the few books I had available to me that I finished it so quickly. The book is mostly taken up with vignettes of Hattie Shepherd and her children. Set from around 1925 until the 1960s, it was interesting enough I guess although there was enough material in the book to be fleshed out more and not just giving the reader little titbits of something which held so much promise and did not ultimately deliver on the potential.

I got this book for a Christmas present and I felt I had to read it, firstly to be polite and secondly because it was a novel idea to have a main protagonist who has the first name as me. That’s where it ends, really. The book had plenty enough material to further develop characters but that really didn’t come to fruition.

I have no idea about the historical background of the book but in general I was more interested in how Hattie reacted to what life had to throw at her, and as she got older her reasons for doing as she did became much clearer. There were some sad moments in the book and on reflection I did cry a bit but ultimately a good premise fell a bit short. Maybe in the future I’ll research the social history of the time period in more detail but for the time being, I’ll put the book back on my bookshelf and perhaps return to it in a few years. The total lack of attention to the characters once their little vignette was over just made me care less for them and as a result I didn’t feel emotionally attached to them when the book ended as I had expected to.

MY RATING: ** / *****

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