The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, by Hannah Tinti

Genre: Fiction | Thriller Themes: On-the-run-thriller, Crime, Coming-of-age, Father-daughter relationships Sam Hawley is not a good person. He’s broken all the rules, and he’s got 12 gunshot wounds to prove […]

June 27, 2017 // Tara May // No Comments // Posted in Book Reports

Genre: Fiction | Thriller

Themes: On-the-run-thriller, Crime, Coming-of-age, Father-daughter relationships

Sam Hawley is not a good person.

He’s broken all the rules, and he’s got 12 gunshot wounds to prove it.

Hawley is a criminal through and through, guilty of crimes all the way from theft to murder. Hinti makes no excuses for Hawley’s behavior; it’s simply the only life he’s ever known.

When he meets Lily, he finally has a reason to get off the path he’s chosen, but his old life lurks behind him like a shadow, and it isn’t long before he crawls back to it, dragging Lily with him.

There is not much to endear us to Hawley. His one redeeming quality is his love for the wife he couldn’t hold onto, and for the daughter, Loo, who becomes his reason to breathe. You may not be able to love Hawley, but you’ll love his love for Loo.

The narrative is split between Loo’s perspective growing up the daughter of an over-protective father with a past, and the evolution of Hawley, gunshot wound by gunshot wound.

This harrowing story of regret, atonement, and above all, love, will keep you glued to the page as it flows effortlessly between past deeds and present consequences.

The final pages may not provide answers to all of your burning questions, but one thing will be clear: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is a single thread, beginning with Hawley and all that has happened, and ending with Loo and everything that is going to happen.

Favorite quotes:

“The dead woman was an ever-present part of their lives.”

“She carried the rough-and-tumble look of children being raised by men.”

“And like the moon, Hawley was always circling between Loo and the rest of the universe.”

“The snow held the shape of the mountain like a blanket covering a body.”

“The world is a rotten place, and you’ve got to find a way to be rotten if you’re going to live in it.”

“Everything breaks if you hit it hard enough.”

“How small everything else must seem when your heart is big enough for someone else to crawl through.”


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