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 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....
angelou mayas Blue
the different voices and readers was effective....
no...too complex...too many characters
I'm tired of the constant theme of Oprahs bookclub....the Black plight.
There was no redeeming character throughout the book... no positives in the picture of society it painted. I know their lives were very difficult but wish the author had more compassion for the characters.
Engaging Beautiful Sad
I loved hearing the narrator read the accents that sound like home (I live far away now). Her voice is beautiful and easy to listen to.
yes. The narration can't save a poorly written story from itself.
Probably but they were swallowed by the negatives and lost like the story was.
I've read other stories in which there were multiple family members over a period of time and they kept some thread tying them together. It jumped from one child to another and the story of the first one was as a young man after the death of her twins; it was almost over before realizing he was one of her children. I think he was mentioned once again near the end but was never a part of the rest of his siblings or her life. Then I thought each one was going to be a character portrayal and eventually lead to something. It did, The end.
If you like that kind of story try SOME SING, SOME CRY. It's extremely long covering 3-4 generations but it worked. I got to know the characters and they kept relating to each other both directly, and in time, generationally as well. This bvook missed the mark.
If I could have known what happened to the children as thay became adults. Like the baby by Lawrence, what became of her. It's as if all were crazy and had several problems. To me it seemed like the book was abridged and not unabridged.
None of scene was very memorable for me, usually I can remember the characters names but about the only name I remember is Hattie.
I really don't remember to many scenes, maybe the one when Hattie left with the baby
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