Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

“Hattie knew her children did not think her a kind woman—perhaps she wasn’t, but there hadn’t been time for sentiment when they were young. She had failed them in vital ways, but what good would it have done to spend the days hugging and kissing if there hadn’t been anything to put in their bellies? They didn’t understand that all the love she had was used up in feeding them and clothing them and preparing them to meet the world. The world would not love them; the world would not be kind.”

Excerpt From: Ayana, Mathis. “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.” Knopf, 2012-06-22. iBooks. 
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This quote sums up the life of Hattie Shepherd. Though she seems to be a cold, stoic, and heartless mother in reality she took care of them the best way she knew how. She lived in survival mode and used these instincts to provide the basic needs for her children, but in the end we realized that it takes more than that to raise healthy children. Her children suffer from emotional, social, and mental challenges that can be traced back to the lack of their mother's love and support. If she had paid more attention to those needs, her children may have been better off. At the end of the book, we think that she tried to redeem herself through her granddaughter Sala, but she fell short. In Hattie's mind,  has never experienced grace, so she doesn't show grace to her children or her husband. In the end, Hattie doesn't allow Sala to accept grace from a God that she thinks has forsaken her.  

So we have learned that when you try to exist in your own strength (she didn't want help from August, the government, those around her, or even God) you will fall short. If we allow His strength to be made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), then we see the blessing and grace of God in our darkest hours.

Check out our wine glass review for this book.
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