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
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.
I enjoyed the history of the characters, however the transition from one story to the next left alot to be unanswered. It took a minute to figure each new story was relative to one of the main characters descendants.
Better transitioning from one story to the next.
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.
As far as the content of the book, I loved it. I found the reader quite distracting to the story, however.
Hattie was the centerpiece, but I found her husband to be the most interesting. It was fascinating to see his perspective on their life and marriage in contrast to her's.
The reader had very awkward timing and phrasing. It wasn't smooth and consistent. She did well on dialogue, but the narrative was disjointed at times. The male reader was excellent. He had a magnificent voice and was absolutely believable.
No. It was easy to listen in chapters.
Very seldom does a book make me cry, but this one really touched my heart. The author caught the emotion and drama of a struggling family with too many mouths to feed and too few resources. It's also a solidifies the fact that even imperfect parents can be loved by their children. A wonderful book.
I am glad that I listened to this book because I don't think I could have stuck with it in print. Given the Oprah connection, I am happy to have it in my library. Parts of it I loved, but other parts....
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