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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 (538 )
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4.1 (465 )
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  •  
    Monique Randallstown, MD, United States 02-01-13
    Monique Randallstown, MD, United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Great Read"
    What made the experience of listening to The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) the most enjoyable?

    I loved the characters, and how they all viewed their mother. It's always amazed me how siblings can grow up on the same household, but turn out different.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed hearing about each child


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

    The emotion in he voice. It's very moving.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) and why?

    For some reason Six sticks out to me. I think it's because I view his eventual outcome, based on Hattie's revelation, as typical southern preacher.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Y. Madison, MS, United States 01-25-13
    Y. Madison, MS, United States 01-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A mother's pain"
    What did you love best about The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)?

    The varied saga of Hattie's life. Eeach character was unique in the drama of thebook. Each tells its own story as one of Hatties children.


    If you’ve listened to books by Ayana Mathis before, how does this one compare?

    This is my first and I enjoyed listening to the work of Ms. Mathis and was very pleased. Great writing, performance and narrating.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I had a few; the death of Philadelphia and Jubilee; Six as a preacher in Alabama and Floyd and Lafayette, Lawrence and Bell and Hattie. They all sound like real-life dramas.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "And they say"


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. I did not know what to expect. Thought it was just another slavery story but was very pleased with the build-up of the characters and the performances and narrations were great! I gathered strength from Hattie and her woes. I was surprised by the abrupt ending which led me wonder if a second book is in the making. In all of the hurt that Bell felt toward Hattie, Hattie was there for Bell in the end.
    Great work Ms. Mathis

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie ATLANTA, GA, United States 01-25-13
    Leslie ATLANTA, GA, United States 01-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Reluctantly Disappointed"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, unfortunately not. I REALLY wanted to love this book, but came away disappointed. Story wasn't particularly interesting. And the writing style . . . seems like a little bit of editing would have gone a long way.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ayana Mathis again?

    Absolutely.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scenes written from Cassie's perspective as she struggles with mental illness.


    Could you see The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Absolutely.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KarenLee Beaufort, SC United States 01-17-13
    KarenLee Beaufort, SC United States 01-17-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Forgettable"

    I was never able to develop any empathy or admiration for any of the characters. I was relieved when I finally finished it. Best of the "tribes" was the story of Ella and Pearl and I would have liked to heard more of that one. The most likeable character was August even though he was a no account lady's man for most of the novel. He loved his children and wife and I wonder how he felt about giving up Ella. Did he know? I did not care for Hattie at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janelle Albuquerque, NM, United States 01-13-13
    Janelle Albuquerque, NM, United States 01-13-13 Member Since 2009
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    "It was an okay book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not heavily. For a human interest piece, it was a well-written and assembled novel. However, the interest and reader involvement wasn’t high. A story that doesn’t involve the reader can still be a good story. But a story that draws you in is quite a different experience. This book, this set of stories about Hattie and her marriage, relationships with her children and other man, while interesting, does not draw you into the experience. While reading I could have put the book down at any moment and not picked it back up.


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

    Maybe, depends on what other choices are out there. I would probably not read from this author again, while the book was interesting, it wasn’t really worth my time.


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

    I liked Ella the best, the story of Hattie’s child given up to her sister. I think a close second would be the gay son, as his struggle with sexuality and the shame he felt was superbly portrayed.


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

    I guess I think differently about experiences people had during that time period.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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