Reading Recommendations: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie,
a novel, Ayana Mathis
Oprah's Book Club 2.0
A debut of extraordinary distinction: through the trials of one unforgettable family, Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration, a story of love and bitterness and the promise of a new America.
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 first born 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 page turner, 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, Mathis's first novel heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.
And, A Possible Life, a novel in five parts, Sebastian Faulks
Geoffrey Talbot adores sports. At the university, between the world wars, he spends most of his time playing games. But he also studies languages; his father hopes he will become a diplomat. After graduation though, Geoffrey enlists. In France, he meets dark-eyed Giselle. His life veers off track forever.
In Victorian London, the desperately poor Webbs can't keep all their children, and the one they send to the workhouse is Billy. Too small to be considered a friend by the bigger boys, he instead becomes lifelong companions with Alice, as well as with another girl.
Across twenty-first century Europe, governments have collapsed, resources are scarce. Elena Duranti, once a wild nature child, now a brilliant scientist, collaborates on a startling discovery about human consciousness and on an equally astonishing find about her only love.
In rural France in the 1800's, orphaned Jeanne works in a laundry, then in a dairy and then, for the rest of her days, as a nurse maid. She is simpleminded and devout, but this does not mean she has never made a tough choice.
Long haired and skinny Anya is an American singer-songwriter star in the 1970's. How real is her life of guitars, lovers, stage fright and travel, if it is, foremost, raw material for her songs?
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