Read and discuss The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis on Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 7-8:45 pm in the Hughes Room
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 firstborn 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.
Some discussion questions are available from the publisher.
The African American Writers Book Discussion Group meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 7-8:45 pm on the 2nd floor of the library.
- My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due on October 17, 2013
When Jessica marries David, he is everything she wants in a family man: brilliant, attentive, ever youthful. Yet she still feels something about him is just out of reach. Soon, as people close to Jessica begin to meet violent, mysterious deaths, David makes an unimaginable confession: More than 400 years ago, he and other members of an Ethiopian sect traded their humanity so they would never die, a secret he must protect at any cost. Now, his immortal brethren have decided David must return and leave his family in Miami. Instead, David vows to invoke a forbidden ritual to keep Jessica and his daughter with him forever.Harrowing, engrossing and skillfully rendered, My Soul to Keep traps Jessica between the desperation of immortals who want to rob her of her life and a husband who wants to rob her of her soul. With deft plotting and an unforgettable climax, this tour de force reminiscent of early Anne Rice will win Due a new legion of fans.
- Nina’s Got a Secret by Brian W. Smith on September 19, 2013Nina Arceneaux, a struggling single mother, has a choice to make– she’s been proposed to by a millionaire, a man she doesn’t love. Larry Denison offers to take her, and her eight-year-old daughter, Precious, out of their one-bedroom apartment and move them into a mansion in Monterey, California. But, there’s a catch. Larry has an autistic eight-year-old daughter named Christine, and Nina isn’t sure she can handle the prospect of being a stepmother to a child with special needs. But, she marries Larry anyway and quickly embraces her new lifestyle. One day, while Larry is away on a business trip, Nina takes both girls on a ride in her new SUV. The vehicle skids off of the road and into a lake. As the car is sinking in the murky water, Nina has to make the toughest decision of her life– does she save Christine or Precious? When Larry returns from his trip, Nina tells Larry what happened but fails to tell him she could have saved Christine. She’s going to take her lie to her grave, but she has one major problem– someone saw the entire thing and is threatening to tell
- Home by Toni Morrison on August 15, 2013An angry and self-loathing veteran of the Korean War, Frank Money finds himself back in racist America after enduring trauma on the front lines that left him with more than just physical scars. A deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood–and his home.