Your audiobook is waiting…

The World According to Fannie Davis

My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers
Narrated by: Bridgett M. Davis
Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)
Regular price: $29.65
$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

A singular memoir highlighting "the outstanding humanity of black America" that tells the story of one unforgettable mother, her devoted daughter, and the life they lead in the Detroit numbers of the 1960s and 1970s (James McBride)

In 1958, the very same year that an unknown songwriter named Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found Motown Records, a pretty young mother from Nashville, Tennessee, borrowed $100 from her brother to run a Numbers racket out of her tattered apartment on Delaware Street, in one of Detroit's worst sections. That woman was Fannie Davis, Bridgett M. Davis' mother. 

Part bookie, part banker, mother, wife, granddaughter of slaves, Fannie became more than a numbers runner: she was a kind of Ulysses, guiding both her husbands, five children, and a grandson through the decimation of a once-proud city using her wit, style, guts, and even gun. She ran her numbers business for 34 years, doing what it took to survive in a legitimate business that just happened to be illegal. She created a loving, joyful home, sent her children to the best schools, bought them the best clothes, mothered them to the highest standard, and when the tragedy of urban life struck, soldiered on with her stated belief: "Dying is easy. Living takes guts."

A daughter's moving homage to an extraordinary parent, The World According to Fannie Davis is also the suspenseful, unforgettable story about the lengths to which a mother will go to "make a way out of no way" to provide a prosperous life for her family - and how those sacrifices resonate over time. This original, timely, and deeply relatable portrait of one American family is essential listening.

©2019 Bridgett M. Davis (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Novelist Davis honors her mother in this lively and heartfelt memoir of growing up in the 1960s and '70s Detroit...This charming tale of a strong and inspirational woman offers a tantalizing glimpse into the past, savoring the good without sugarcoating the bad." (Publishers Weekly)

"A remarkable story of a mother...Sharp and unwilling to be hemmed in by the dual restrictions of race and gender, she did what it took to raise a family and to uplift a community...In this admiring and highly compelling memoir, Bridgett Davis tells the story of her beloved mother. This is not a story about capitalizing on degeneracy. It is one of hope and hustling in a world where to have the former almost demanded the latter. This outstanding book is a tribute to one woman but will surely speak to the experiences of many." (Kirkus, starred review)

"A moving portrait... Her writing feels rooted in the city and its changing landscape. Combining historical research with extensive interviews, The World According to Fannie Davis is an engrossing tribute to a vibrant, hardworking, unforgettable woman." (Booklist, review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • BK
  • 02-15-19

Fantastic

I grew up in Detroit, so this book provided me with a walk down memory lane. I enjoyed living there when the auto industry was booming and many African- Americans reached and maintained middle class status. Many of my family members played the numbers and hit, too. I’m very familiar with the terminology Bridgett used and how this elevated many to a different level of income from time to time. I wish Bridgett much success with her book!