The Augusta Library Book Club for Adults discussed The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis at their January 8 meeting. In general, members seemed fairly ambivalent about this book; while most agreed that it was well-written, especially given that it was the author's first novel, many considered the characters to be too unsympathetic, their lives too bleak, and their stories too loosely connected.
Nevertheless, it generated lively discussion on several fronts: what motivated some of the characters and to what degree their hardships exonerated their poor decisions; how some of their relationships might have evolved in other circumstances; how much a role race played in the unfolding of their stories; and how Hattie's treatment of her children compared to real families' treatment of children at the time.
Overall, while The Twelve Tribes of Hattie probably wouldn't rank among most members' favorite books, most seemed to consider it worth reading.
The Book Club's next meeting will take place in the library at 6:30 p.m. on February 12. Members will discuss The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian. Copies have been ordered for current Book Club members, but people interested in reading and discussing The Sandcastle Girls can either request the book on their own accounts or contact the library to have a copy requested for them.