The Ditchdigger's Daughters

  • by Yvonne S. Thornton, Jo Coudert
  • Narrated by Fran L. Washington
  • 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Donald Thornton was a ditchdigger who wanted more for his six daughters. "I love you better than I love life," he assured his children. "But I'm not always gonna be around to look after you, and no man's gonna come along and offer to take care of you, because you ain't light-skinned. That's why you gotta be able to look after yourselves. And for that you gotta be smart."Donald decided to do the grandest thing he could think of: force them to make a success of their lives. Along with their mother, Tass, he cajoled and inspired the girls to succeed while working two full-time jobs to keep them properly fed and clothed. All six became successful, independent, accomplished women: two of his six daughters became doctors, one became a dentist, one a lawyer, one a nurse, and one a court stenographer.The Ditchdigger's Daughters is the inspirational story of a family with a strong role model who set family values above all else. Donald's persuasive common sense, folk wisdom, and right-on insights gave them the skills they would need to overcome obstacles in their paths to success.


What the Critics Say

"[A] tribute to an extraordinary father who transcended racial prejudice to raise appreciative daughters to be independent women." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fran Washington warms the heart with colorful storytelling. Her character transitions are flawless....Her portrayal of Donald, the devoted father, is especially vivid, charming the listener with his old-fashioned adages and insights. (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This story was great. Such an inspiring tale of man who made a way for his children out of nothing more then sheer determination!
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- Mrs. M


If you could sum up The Ditchdigger's Daughters in three words, what would they be?

This book made me laugh and cry! The author didn't portray her family and life through rose colored glasses. There were good and bad times but perseverance prevails. The parents showed their girls by example to never give up and family is important. I've recommended this book to many friends and patients.

What did you like best about this story?

Never giving up, finding a way to achieve your goals.

What about Fran L. Washington’s performance did you like?


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both. As a mother and a daughter I felt both sides of their trials.

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- Jola

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-11-2008
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio