Hattie loves her children but rather than show that love with affection and sensitivity, she focuses on being a solid provider. She does what she has to do to make sure her 11 children (and one grandchild) are fed, healthy, and out of harm’s way. But whether it is her rough demeanor or the circumstance of the times, all of her children are deeply damaged.
The book looks at each child at a moment in time, almost like 12 subtly linked short stories. In some cases, the child is too young to speak, thus the perspective shifts to that of Hattie or one of the family’s secondary characters. Each chapter teaches us a bit more about Hattie, her legacy, and the desires she is too afraid to let herself have.
3.5 out of 5 stars.