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 can not imagine anyone being able to follow this story
Disjointed story, i was lost and could not keep my place. i had to keep backing up and still could not figure out what she was talking about.
I enjoyed the brief yet extensive visit with each character. Although set in a particular time period, the characterizations, situations, and reactions were timeless. I cared about each one of character because I understood them.
I loved that I had an opportunity to get to know Hattie and her husband first. Also the all the complexities of the "why's" that created the "who" that drove the "what" were not made evident all at once. I understood her and them little by little through relationship (which shape us all).
Adenrele and Bahni are my favorites and this performance was stellar (as expected!)
I listen as I drive.
I wanted the ending to wrap up differently although I was not disappointed.
I Have been a member for several years and this is probably the best book I have purchased. The author's use of the language is amazing. I have already started recommending it to my friends.
More sympathetic characters. Haggard Hattie and sorry children. I usually buzz through books, but after six weeks I had only listened to 40 or so chapters (out of more than a hundred.) Couldn't figure what Oprah thought was so great....I was up to the 3rd child (after the twins deaths) and decided that it was too depressing to continue..
Life is too short to spend any more time on characters I don't care about.
What genre was it supposed to be??
I only heard one narrator in the time I spent with the audiobook and she was fine. No problem with the narration..
Hope Oprah gets over this kind of reading.
N/A I have not "read" the print version
Too numerous to single out one
I suppose Hattie's granddaughter ...the only character that revealed hope for the future
Hattie, because she was so true to life of a great many struggling,"great migration" African American women of her generation. My question would be ..why so many children ? was she in some way trying to replace the lost first borns and thus her ability to feel and express tenderness for her children ?
Difficult listen, very sad but no doubt excellently written. I've had a friend comment that it was also a difficult read. As a 60+ year old African- American daughter of working class "Great Migration"parents I can attest that the 30+ yr old author was so very " on target" with her knowledge of the language, cultural nuances and experiences.This was indeed gratifying. Nevertheless, I found myself feeling depressed in anticipation of the future for the vast majority of her characters. Thus, I'm Not sure if I'd want to revisit them. Yes, life can be/was a struggle for Hattie's generation and many of their offspring but there were/are positive moments that sustain and there were too few depicted in this collection of stories. Also, though they were all adequate I would have preferred that the multiple narrators narrate the characters by gender or for some apparent reason. Otherwise I'm not clear as to why three narrators were used.
This book was very intriguing.
Hattie. I kept trying to figure her out.
dealing with the cards you are dealt.
OK. I'm disappointed. The narrators sing-songy style narration ruined this book for me. She also had such poor phrasing that often the story didn't make sense.
Lots of potential here, but somehow never quite came together. Hattie's character is never fully developed as she threads through the stories from her children's lives. I was left with too many disconnects even though it was apparent that the author attempted a ribbon of connection through the individual stories. Putting all I learned about Hattie throughout the book together still left me with an incomplete character who never became real or sympathetic. The first chapter was the closest it got and from then on I lost sight of the real Hattie a little at a time. Overall I found the book frustrating, individual stories were well written, but they were way too loosely held together to be a coherent novel. I'll be anxious to watch this author grow and mature, she definately has the talent to become something amazing.
This book was so complex, following Hattie's life and her children's lives. What an effort for a first time author! Truly enjoyed listening to this book!
I found the author jumped around with the characters way too much and it seemed the author never put any finishing touches with any of the characters. What was the point of the story? I never could make sense of it.
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