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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 (648 )
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4.1 (552 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lori HAMPTON, VA, United States 02-14-13
    Lori HAMPTON, VA, United States 02-14-13 Member Since 2013
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    3
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    "I can't believe this is a first novel"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judi W 02-12-13
    Judi W 02-12-13

    Judi W

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    "Sad and sorry characters"
    What would have made The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) better?

    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.


    Has The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) turned you off from other books in this genre?

    What genre was it supposed to be??


    What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

    I only heard one narrator in the time I spent with the audiobook and she was fine. No problem with the narration..


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Definite disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    Hope Oprah gets over this kind of reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brown-Skinned Woman New York, New York 02-12-13
    Brown-Skinned Woman New York, New York 02-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "True to Life but at What Cost ?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) to be better than the print version?

    N/A I have not "read" the print version


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)?

    Too numerous to single out one


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

    I suppose Hattie's granddaughter ...the only character that revealed hope for the future


    If you could take any character from The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    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 ?


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Savino Philadelphia, PA United States 02-11-13
    Emily Savino Philadelphia, PA United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    13
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    "I wanted to listen to it in one sitting"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book was very intriguing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hattie. I kept trying to figure her out.


    If you could rename The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0), what would you call it?

    dealing with the cards you are dealt.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne SANTA FE, NM, United States 02-11-13
    Anne SANTA FE, NM, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2003
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    "Narrator ruined the story."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannine United States 02-11-13
    Jeannine United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Almost, but not quite"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne LITHIA, FL, United States 02-05-13
    Suzanne LITHIA, FL, United States 02-05-13 Member Since 2011
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    6
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    "Amazing! So complex!"
    What did you love best about The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)?

    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!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doris Salt Lake City, UT, United States 02-04-13
    Doris Salt Lake City, UT, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    "I did not enjoy this book at all."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Brandon, FL, United States 02-04-13
    Barbara Brandon, FL, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Disappointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A better narrator.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Didn't make it to the ending. Couldn't finish.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I felt the narration in this book was very amatuerish, not at all up to Audible's usual standards. I found it to be "over-acted" and exaggerated, almost to the extent of caricature.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I have read or listened to many books recommended by Oprah, and was looking forward to this one. I was disappointed that I wasn't able to finish this one. I think the story had great potential, and perhaps I will read it in print version at some point.


    Any additional comments?

    Life is too short to read bad books. Or listen to them. Move on. (this wan't exactly a bad book, but it was a bad audiobook)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Chicago, IL 02-04-13
    Amazon Customer Chicago, IL 02-04-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    20
    4
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    Story
    "Multiple readers with mixed quality"
    Where does The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The main reader was great. The other readers had really flat intonation


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

    Hattie, boy did she evolve, and you knew why she evolved the way she did.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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