You’ve always tried to do best for your family.
You make sure everyone’s fed nutritious food three times a day. You put clothes on their bodies, bubbles in their baths, and a soft bed beneath them every night. There are toys on the floor, couple dollars in the bank, holidays are all good, and you do your best to make sure it stays that way.
But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, things just go bad. That’s when, as in the new novel “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” by Ayana Mathis, doing your best just isn’t good enough.
Floyd always thought of himself as the oldest Shepherd child, even though the twins came before him. His mother, Hattie, never forgot about her dead babies and as a result, Floyd and his siblings grew up in a suffocating house. That was good reason to leave home as soon as he could. Why he felt a strong pull toward loving young men, well, he couldn’t answer that.

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