The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10 hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780804127271. $40; Playaway digital; digital download. F
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.]
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