The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Downloadable Audiobook - 2012
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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. Captured here in twelve narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother's monumental courage and the journey of a nation.
Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2012
ISBN: 9780804127288
9780804127264

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TheresaAJ
Jun 03, 2019

Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia in 1923 and lands in Philadelphia. She marries a man who continually disappoints her and watches her firstborn twins, Jubilee and Philadelphia, die from an illness because she has no money for medicine. Hattie then has nine more children with her last daughter being born in 1954. This novel covers the years 1923 through 1980 and follows the black experience through the eyes of her nine children and one granddaughter. Told in gritty, unsparing prose, Hattie, August, and their nine children have very different experiences depending on the era, their personalities, and their life circumstances. I'm glad I listened to the audio version as this novel is best read in small chunks as there is much heartache and sorrow for its characters.

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DellaV
Feb 05, 2014

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.

Christine4791 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.

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kesha1123
May 01, 2013

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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DellaV
Feb 05, 2014

DellaV thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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joann1949 Sep 18, 2015

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.

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