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 a remarkable story by first time author Anaya Mathis. We journey with Hattie Shepherd and her disconnected family as they fight for a connection with her.The story opens with her newborn twins Philadelphia and Jubilee’s death from pneumonia.
As if the death of her children weren't enough Hattie’s comes to realize that her husband August, reveals himself to be a cheat and a piss poor provider. So Hattie finds happiness with another and leaves August and goes to Baltimore,but as fast as she leaves she returns, memories from her past quickly begin to prick her heart. You see, when a sick heart is longing for another it’s hard to love the ones you’re with, but it’s easier to become cold. Hattie’s children began to feel that coldness which moved into her heart, and they began to resent her.
Will they come to terms with the fact that their mom cannot love them? Is it too much to ask children to understand that you are preparing them for the hurt in the world that is sure to come?
Mathis writes a beautiful but sometimes heart wrenching story of overcoming life’s challenges. Very interesting story of family crisis, love and pain.
The Great Gatsby
The narrator's performance was the only enjoyable thing about this book.
If I were an editor, I would have sent the book back.
Say something about yourself!
The characters-- They were so well developed and so lively. I was sad to get to the end of the book because I wanted to know what was happening with some of the characters.
Surprisingly, it was Hattie. In the beginning of the book, I could not understand her or relate to her choices. However, by the end of it, I was not only compassionate toward her, I was rooting for her. This progression showed me that when we encounter "seniors" we have no idea what complexities and traumas they had to navigate to get to the relative peace of their golden years.
There were several narrators, but I like the way the main narrator could change intonation in such a way to evoke the feeling of the character.
No. Because it was so good, I wanted to savor it. In fact, I read it on long walks and enjoyed the combination so much, I listened to it a second time.
When Oprah talked about how talented this writer was, she was not overstating things. I did a book review on my blog because I wanted other people to get this book!!!!!
Fair warning, this is not an uplifting book. However, the characters are rich and their storylines are complex and messy, in the way that families often are. This was one that I could not turn off. It is definitely worth your credit.
The performance was stellar, the narrator really brought a lot life and distinction to each character, and as the characters were rich, deep and unique that was important. The author was able to create such varied characters, make them sympathetic, compelling and shows them struggling against such dire circumstances, yet keeps it fresh and new for the reader.
Hard to pick one--but Floyd really stands out, maybe because he was one of the first.
As I said above, the ability to make each voice as distinct and deep as each character was, whether man, woman, child...
It was hard to put down (turn off). I was listening to this on two long drives, so it was very pleasant/engaging and the destination came too soon!
Sad, sad, sad, but in the end, promise and redemption and the spark of hope.
The different stories, each written from the perspective of a different character and time period, made for an interesting read. Also, Hattie and her children lived fascinating lives with clear connections to the history and culture of the time. However, the story line did not draw me in sufficiently.
I love this book. It just demonstates so much passion, and unconditional love. Hattie is an amazing strong woman who despite her wants and needs lives for her children.
The most memorable moment in the book was when Lawrence introduces Belle to Hattie. Later I saw a great love when Hattie took care of Belle when she was dying.
I love technology, reading, music, and shoes (not necessarily in that order.)
This is a well written book, that really demonstrates the theory of "show don't tell". The author takes us through the life of Hattie and her descendants in a captivating way.
In the Alice and Billups chapter, when Alice finds out who Billups has been seeing (don't want to spoil this for anyone) and her reaction.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie - "Descendants of Job"
As usual, Oprah picks a pretty depressing story. But it is well written and the performances are excellent. It was worth the time spent listening to it.
I love audioboks!
I liked how the story spanned many decades, it made you see the changes of time.
I did not like the fact that each character was introduced, but then you never find out what happens to them later in their life. I also didn't like how the story had no beginning, middle and end. It was just a story about a bitter woman's sad life that never changed for the good or the bad.
The most interesting aspect was learning about Jim Crow laws and the role of Philadelphia as an opportunity for southern African Americans. The least interesting was Hattie's life.
When Bell (I think) goes to the medicine woman's house for juju
Disappointed in the story. It only gave a glimpse into the lives of her children and Hattie never grew as a person. Life doesn't always have happy endings but that's why I read books. If I wanted to witness a sad story about someone who never grew, I could just look around me.
the reality of the whole story. i wasn't there but i got a sense of how it must have been.
i was touched by the love and helplessness when hattie's twins came and went.
the voice of the female was simple and even toned. the voice of the male was very appropriate for the man.
hattie of course. she represented the manner in which love and matter of fact was in a female mother of 12 would be in those days.
it took me two or three starts before i got the lay out of the stories and one simple word could make you see the character in your minds eye. being only partially sighted, that's the only eye i can see out of.
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