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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
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By allison on 12-27-12

For me...So So

I have read many of Oprahs book club books so I was a little disappointed by this one. Don't get me wrong it was very well written and the narrators were great but the story itself wasn't as intriguing to me as other book club books have been. I usually find books written like this one a refreshing change (each chapter is its own little story adding to the 1 big story) but with this book I felt like I never really got invested in any one character which made me not invested in the overall big story. I finished listening, it was entertaining but it did not resound with me in the way I thought it would.

I believe that personally I am not in a place in my life to fully appreciate this book which is why I do not discourage anyone from giving this book a shot. I think there are tons of people out there who will really "get" this book.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful


By Suzn F on 12-14-12

Hattie and her Family Tragically Flawed

Hattie bore eleven children. In the death of her first two, twins, Hattie becomes a shell of a woman. She is a victim of circumstance, from the times, from her relationships and from herself. Her husband August can't or won't be the man she needs yet he was the one person who shined with love, passion and tenderness toward the children.
The writing was superb; the twining of the twelve tales worked. I felt the ending abrupt and a bit disappointing.And I am so glad to have experienced this book.

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28 of 30 people found this review helpful

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