Welcome to Between the Lines Book Club, where we discuss one book a month both online right here and in person at Arden Dimick Library in Sacramento, California. Our in-person club meets March 28th at 10:30AM. This month’s selection is The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is the story of Hattie Shepherd, a Black woman from Georgia who moves to Philadelphia as part of the Great Northern Migration that followed the Civil War (more on this next week). Hattie loves her new home until her first babies, twins, die of pneumonia. Hattie goes on to have eight more children and many grandchildren, but the loss of her first two babies permanently scars her heart – while she parented the babies with playful tenderness, she raises her future children with grim determination.
Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of one of Hattie’s children. The stories they tell cover 1925 – 1980. Put together, the stories are like a quilt – small parts forming a larger picture of African-American life.
If you have thoughts about Twelve Tribes, leave them in the comments section below, and be sure to join us at Arden Dimick Library, Sacramento on March 28!