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
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.
A better narrator.
Didn't make it to the ending. Couldn't finish.
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.
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.
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)
The main reader was great. The other readers had really flat intonation
Hattie, boy did she evolve, and you knew why she evolved the way she did.
I would listen to it again to understand what I missed the first time.
I would compare this book to Mama Flora's Family by Alex Haley and David Stevens
When Hattie was in church with her Granddaughter
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.
I enjoyed hearing about each child
The emotion in he voice. It's very moving.
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.
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