Now, honestly, some of her picks have provoked more thinking than others. Nonetheless, her books are typically great writing and great story telling.
Over the years, I've liked some writing styles over others and some story lines over others, but at the end of the day, I've never had a bad read from her book club picks. So when she said that, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was transformative, I was all in. Now, I cannot say that it didn't transform her life, but for sure I can say, that it didn't transform mine. Was it a good read? Yes, without a doubt! Transformative No!
This book started as a wonderful migration story. Chapter one was brilliant; a young marriage seeking a better life in a Northern city and the failure of that promise rooted in the hard reality of life up North and youthful pride. I was all in!
Then came chapter two and I said hummm and by chapter three I was confuse. Now don't get me wrong, each chapter was great story telling. Where the book went left for me was with the structure. By the third chapter, I felt like I was reading short stories and not a novel. The thing that made this book great was the thing that made this a weak novel.
Each chapter told the story of one or two of Hattie's children and it may or may not have mentioned the other children. Even Hattie was a passing thought. Yes, each child was birthed by Hattie and therefore this book is true to it's title, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, but the thread that connected them in the writing was incredibility thin at best, with a failed attempt in my opinion, to try and bring them all together in the last chapter.
I gave it 4 stars on Good Reads because over all it really was a good book and each chapter was thought provoking. This is Ayana Mathis first novel and she is well on her way, not just because Oprah choose it, but because she is clearly not afraid to deal head on with important issues in the African-American community such as, Homophobia Class, Skin Color and Child Abuse.
I recommend this book! Now, Black folks are always talking about how Oprah never chooses African-American authors, which by the way is not true, so this is your time to pick up this book and not only join the discussion, but support this raising star! I'm already waiting on Ayana Mathis next book.