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The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) | [Ayana Mathis]

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (560 )
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3.7 (481 )
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Story
4.1 (483 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Carol Joseph, OR, United States 01-07-13
    Carol Joseph, OR, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    19
    6
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    2
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    Story
    "Like a soap opera"

    After listening to/reading The Help I was disappointed in this book. It just seemed to go on and on with one life story after another - somewhat like a soap opera. Performance was excellent, however!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne Lexington, SC, United States 08-03-14
    Lynne Lexington, SC, United States 08-03-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    158
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Like the Red Violin, only with humans!"

    This book takes you up and down, mostly down, but in a good way. Does that make sense? I'm trying to say that while what you are reading is somewhat depressing, mainly because it deals with human suffering and emotion. But the book is so well done and the narration does such a good job of supporting the good writing that you don't mind the depressing parts. Hattie is always there, for good and for bad, just like the red violin as it traveled through history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Cedar Grove, TN United States 07-04-14
    Deborah Cedar Grove, TN United States 07-04-14 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
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    164
    49
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    3
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    "Couldn't finish"

    I am fascinated by the history of slavery and the strong black race that had to endure. I cannot fathom the idea that one human is treated so horribly by another human.
    This book seemed to have no flow. I couldn't keep track of what was going on and who was who.
    I just assumed, being an Oprah's pick,that this would be good. I didn't bother to look at reviews ahead of time. Lesson learned, read the reviews.
    I was just trying to get through the book. I didn't finish. Read reviews on Goodreads.com for better judgements.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin D Newportnews, VA United States 06-01-14
    Robin D Newportnews, VA United States 06-01-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book"
    Would you listen to The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) again? Why?

    Yes I would, I love the twist and turns of the different characters


    What did you like best about this story?

    The many characters


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    My favorite character was Hattie herself, the strength she had.


    If you could rename The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0), what would you call it?

    Hattie's Family


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee HOUSTON, TX, United States 05-31-14
    Lee HOUSTON, TX, United States 05-31-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    18
    4
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    "The core of what it is to be human"
    What did you love best about The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)?

    This book gets at the core of what it is to be human. Yes, it is about the Great Migration, but it is about love, loss, regret, hope and so many other more subtle emotional aspects of the human psyche and heart. I was amazed by this author's ability to evoke so many different emotions in me. It was a wonderful intertwined tale that I will recommend to others. Thank you, Oprah, for recommending this one. Absolutely fabulous.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrators were all wonderful.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many to detail.


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leeann Madison, NH, United States 01-20-14
    Leeann Madison, NH, United States 01-20-14 Member Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Dreary and misery is never ending"
    What would have made The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) better?

    Each chapter is written as it's own story. The first chapter was tragic and well done, but as the book wears on the stories become less tragic and just more miserable, unrelentingly. Hattie becomes more difficult to relate to.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ayana Mathis again?

    maybe


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    none


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)?

    I'd cut 80% of the chapters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-08-13
    Sarah Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-08-13 Member Since 2012

    Do more of what makes you happy. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Touching, tragic, hit me at my core"
    Any additional comments?

    I really salute Ayana Mathis for creating this world of Hattie's that not only kept me wanting to read more, but beautifully weaved and intertwined each story, while maintaining the unique voice to each chapter.

    There were so many moments in this book that lingered with me, and had me imagining life as Hattie or one of her children and the defining moments of their lives. And the narrators did a fantastic job in further sinking me into the story. Mathis was very convincing in creating so many emotionally real and sadly tragic characters I will not soon forget.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kharma Washington, DC, United States 10-30-13
    Kharma Washington, DC, United States 10-30-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    2
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    Story
    "Great Narration, Good Story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) the most enjoyable?

    The narration was on point. I could really get into the story and loved the way the narrator was able to move in and out of the period dialect and tone.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I actually liked the way it was broken up into short stories that were eventually strung together


    Any additional comments?

    The book did not leave me completely satisfied in the end. I felt the last quarter of the book were a bit rush and maybe not as well laid out as others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mom 1st Petaluma CA 10-09-13
    Mom 1st Petaluma CA 10-09-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "12 Tribes of Hattie"
    Would you listen to The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) again? Why?

    I would listen to this book again. I feel like I would be able to get a better understanding of the characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the descriptive writing and the time progression in this story


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    There was more than one narrator in this book. The different narrators added to the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This book is a little lengthy to sit and listen to in 1 sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyed narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thaysha PFLUGERVILLE, TX, United States 09-16-13
    Thaysha PFLUGERVILLE, TX, United States 09-16-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
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    Story
    "Nice introduction to Ayana Mathis"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, I enjoyed listening to this book.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ayana Mathis? Why or why not?

    Yes, I would read another book from this author. Hopefully "Tribes" was an appetizer to more "meaty" work.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I would not say this narrator added nor took away from this book. She performed as expected.


    Did The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    This book had an interesting storyline and started out well. As the tale went along I felt the author got sloppy with her writting. I found it confusing when the children were introduced at random times, as adults. There was no history to reflect on to understand the characters and their flaws except that they were the offspring of Hattie. Each lacked dimension and I found myself asking out loud, "What's going on?" I see the direction the author was headed in but she just didn't seem to get there completely. Overall, this was an ok book. No where close to terrible but not amazing. Hattie was a very sad, angry woman that probably should of never had one child let alone twelve. Unfortunately the reader wasn't privey to the root cause of her anger and sadness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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