Happy Bookers Discussion Group

Next meeting: Wednesday, October 22
at 7:00 p.m.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

by Ayana Mathis

Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family. Mathis writes with blazing insight into the complexities of sexuality, marriage, family relationships, backbone, fraudulence, and racism in a molten novel of lives wracked with suffering yet suffused with beauty" (Booklist).

We have multiple copies of the book available. Reserve online or ask at the desk.

Return to Phillipsburg Library home page



Discussion Questions

Hattie is, by any measure, a complicated, difficult woman. Did you love her, hate her, find it difficult to have sympathy for her? Is she a good mother? Why or why not?

Why do you suppose the author chose to have Philadelphia and Jubilee die in the novel’s first chapter? The novel moves backward and forward in time. What function is served by showing us this loss at the outset? How does this serve the novel and inform our understanding of Hattie?

What do you learn in the chapter called “Ruthie” about August as a husband? As a father? As a man?

Does August change throughout the course of the novel? Do you feel differently about him at the novel’s end than at the beginning?


Questions excerpted from ReadingGroupGuides.


Author website

 Upcoming Selections:

November - Arcadia by Lauren Groff

Happy Bookers selections are chosen by the participants.  Suggest a book for discussion

The Happy Bookers is Phillipsburg Library's monthly book discussion group.  We meet on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.  Newcomers are always welcome, and no registration is necessary.  Call Deb at 908-454-3712 for more information.

Can't make the meeting? Visit our Happy Bookers Group on Goodreads and add your thoughts there!