The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this novel. It is an interesting mix – one part literary thriller and one part coming of age novel. It tells the story of a man and his daughter – their relationship, their adventures, their pain. I really found myself swept up into this story about two very unforgettable characters.
I loved how the author wove the story together – structured through time and place as well as by the 12 bullet wounds of Samuel Hawley. I think it was ingenious to tell today’s story about Samuel and Loo while also interweaving these 12 bullet flashbacks into the narrative that fill gaps and answer questions. It was very effective! She brings everything together so wonderfully!
The characters are so raw and real. Samuel is not a particularly good guy – he has lots of scars (physical and emotional) and he’s made a lot of bad decisions. But, his relationship with Loo really shows the full complexity of this man. That relationship is one of the highlights of this book.
This is a gritty book with some violence so if that’s not something you’re interested in, you may want to skip this one. But, ultimately, it’s a beautifully crafted novel that I found heart breaking! I highly recommend it!
NOTE: Thank you to the publisher for giving me an ARC of this novel for an honest review.