The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Mathis, Ayana

Audiobook CD - 2013
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
In 1923, fifteen-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, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother's monumental courage and the journey of a nation.

Publisher: [Westminister, MD] : Books on Tape : Random House, [2013]
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 0804127271
Characteristics: 8 sound discs (617 min.) :,digital ;,4 3/4 in.


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Feb 05, 2014
  • DellaV rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A very engaging book-a story of a young African American girl, already married and the mother of twins, who has come to Philadelphia from Georgia so her family can have a better life-one free from the extreme racism of the South. We see Hattie as a dreamer who saw every dream dashed to pieces, saw it take away her humanity, and replaced it all with a desperate drive to push her children to succeed. She is seen more as a machine than as a person. She obviously loved her husband at one point, also loved her children; but the push to have them live a better life than the one she could provide for them made all of them believe she didn't have an ounce of love for any of them. Her children became a single-family diaspora; her children spread all over the country. Not a really happy story; but a very human one.

May 01, 2013

This book didn't encourage empathy for the characters as sad as their experiences are or maintain interest sufficiently for me to want to finish reading the last few chapters.

May 01, 2013
  • kesha1123 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I listened to this read and I'll admit that I did not listen as attentively as required for all the drama and complexities that went on in this book. It read more like individual monologues than a seamless story. There appeared to be too many characters and storylines that didn't keep me engaged.


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Feb 05, 2014
  • DellaV rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

DellaV thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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