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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 (632 )
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3.7 (538 )
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4.1 (537 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Anne SANTA FE, NM, United States 02-11-13
    Anne SANTA FE, NM, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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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
    3
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    Story
    "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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    5
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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
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    19
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    "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
  •  
    Crystal BACONTON, GA, United States 02-01-13
    Crystal BACONTON, GA, United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2015
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    3
    1
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    Story
    "I loved this book!"
    Would you listen to The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) again? Why?

    I would listen to it again to understand what I missed the first time.


    What other book might you compare The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) to and why?

    I would compare this book to Mama Flora's Family by Alex Haley and David Stevens


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Hattie was in church with her Granddaughter


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monique Randallstown, MD, United States 02-01-13
    Monique Randallstown, MD, United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2010
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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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 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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