I was never able to develop any empathy or admiration for any of the characters. I was relieved when I finally finished it. Best of the "tribes" was the story of Ella and Pearl and I would have liked to heard more of that one. The most likeable character was August even though he was a no account lady's man for most of the novel. He loved his children and wife and I wonder how he felt about giving up Ella. Did he know? I did not care for Hattie at all.
Not heavily. For a human interest piece, it was a well-written and assembled novel. However, the interest and reader involvement wasn’t high. A story that doesn’t involve the reader can still be a good story. But a story that draws you in is quite a different experience. This book, this set of stories about Hattie and her marriage, relationships with her children and other man, while interesting, does not draw you into the experience. While reading I could have put the book down at any moment and not picked it back up.
Maybe, depends on what other choices are out there. I would probably not read from this author again, while the book was interesting, it wasn’t really worth my time.
I liked Ella the best, the story of Hattie’s child given up to her sister. I think a close second would be the gay son, as his struggle with sexuality and the shame he felt was superbly portrayed.
I guess I think differently about experiences people had during that time period.