A debut of extraordinary distinction: through the trials of one unforgettable family, Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration, a story of love and bitterness and the promise of a new America.
In 1923, 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children, whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them.
Captured here in 12 luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation. Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life.
©2013 Ayana Mathis (P)2013 Random House Audio
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
Hattie bore eleven children. In the death of her first two, twins, Hattie becomes a shell of a woman. She is a victim of circumstance, from the times, from her relationships and from herself. Her husband August can't or won't be the man she needs yet he was the one person who shined with love, passion and tenderness toward the children.
The writing was superb; the twining of the twelve tales worked. I felt the ending abrupt and a bit disappointing.And I am so glad to have experienced this book.
I have read many of Oprahs book club books so I was a little disappointed by this one. Don't get me wrong it was very well written and the narrators were great but the story itself wasn't as intriguing to me as other book club books have been. I usually find books written like this one a refreshing change (each chapter is its own little story adding to the 1 big story) but with this book I felt like I never really got invested in any one character which made me not invested in the overall big story. I finished listening, it was entertaining but it did not resound with me in the way I thought it would.
I believe that personally I am not in a place in my life to fully appreciate this book which is why I do not discourage anyone from giving this book a shot. I think there are tons of people out there who will really "get" this book.
I have never been one for Oprah’s books usually a sticker saying she picked it makes me run the other way but this one sounded like one I’d really enjoy…however…
I am not sure what to say about this book it is well written but the choppiness of all the stories made it a little hard to follow, it seemed like just when you were starting to care about one of Hattie’s children the story would jump to another. Also Hattie was not that likeable it doesn’t seem like she was a good mother or that August was a good father or that they were good together. It seemed like losing those first 2 babies turned Hattie’s heart to stone yet she went on to have more and more children and didn’t seem to love any of them all that much. Also each of these children is extremely flawed and I think the author is saying it is the way they were raised but it seemed no one rose above no one did better it seemed that the poverty that gripped Hattie gripped her children too and it set them down paths to unhappiness. I’m sure this is a realistic depiction of some families and how circumstance will mark you forever but I think I would have liked this story much better if even one these children had been given a happy ending of some kind. Also the ending was so abrupt I thought I had missed downloading a part.
The audio production: this book was narrated by, Adenrele Ojo, Bahni Turpin,& Adam Lazarre-White I have only listened to Bahni before and I am a huge fan, I was also very impressed with the other two narrators they both did a great job but Adam Lazarre-White was hands down the new narrator find for me he is fabulous reminded me a lot of Dion Graham he has that silky low voice but Adam’s had a little more gravel to it which I really enjoyed I will be looking for more narrated by all these narrators!
I would read another book by this author because her writing was very good but this book was just kind of middle ground for me.
5 Star Narration
I felt like this book was very well written. I went into the book knowing nothing about the story, and was amazed how well it is crafted. This really showed me a different kind of life that I have never been properly exposed to. There are so many horrific parts in the book that enraged me, and made me grateful for the day and age we live in now. Truly an enlightening book. Bravo.
I think the part when Six is shipped from home, and makes such a name for himself is the most memorable for me. I thought it was very ironic that he was curing people, giving them life, when he was so depressed and lifeless himself. Also near the end of the book Hattie refers to Six as "lost", that he was going to be a troubled soul forever. This was sad to me, because I feel like nobody is lost, with the right support anybody can get better.
This narrator was perfect for this book, because she brought the characters to life with the hint of accent.
yes, at parts I did not want to stop listening
I could almost visualize the character speaking as the narrator was reading, the narrator was that good.
Hattie, of course!
did not like the way it ended...an abrupt end...but then, maybe I did not want it to end!
Yes. It was a beautifully written book and the narration was of the highest quality.
Hattie herself. She was such a proud woman but sometimes our pride can have unintented consequences.
This was such a sad story. I think after reading this you can't help but do some soul searching and reflect on how you raise or are raising your children.
I like the way this book was written, it was a great find!! I would highly recommend it. I looked forward to listening to this one every chance I had!!
This is easily one of the best books I have listened too. In a word this work is BRILLIANT! What Ms. Mathis does with language and imagery awes me at every step. The structure, the style, the prose - all perfection.
I totaly got into the book, but it ended with out completeing what happened to the
characters,were the decisions made good for them.
Like the baby Ella who went home with her Aunt was this good for Ella. Was Hatties sacrifice the right sacrifice. The gay son where did his life go. the wealthy daughter who was a witness to chld molestation what happened to her and her brother.
why was Hattie so angry, who did she blame for the loss of the twins. Why did she just seem to ebb and flow with out any emotion other than anger.
Iloved the book as far as it went but it left to much out .
I enjoy literary fiction with character depth and psychological exploration. I am in my 50s, work in psychology, and love the outdoors.
This book was beautifully performed but the book itself failed to develop any one character enough to engage me. I did finish the read but, overall, it failed to intertwine the stories of the children enough to develop enough depth to hold my interest. At times, I wasn't sure who was who and why I cared. I admired Hattie's struggle and thought the story did portray the difficult and tragic lives of the times and the people.
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