The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 May 2017

Member Reviews

This was such a fantastic thriller. It's the perfect recommendation for anyone who like "grit fic" like Donald Ray Pollock. The relationship between the father and daughter is mesmerizing and the prose is excellent.
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I really enjoyed the narrative structure of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley. He follow his daughter Loo and Hawley as they live a fairly nomadic existence, finally choosing to settle down in the hometown of Loo's late mother. Interweaved within the story of them settling into the town is the story of how Hawley got the twelve bullet hole scars on his body. It was very fascinating, but I felt like the story ended up losing steam in the last quarter. I'd love to see this adapted and adored the father-daughter relationship that the two main characters had.
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It's hard for me to put a finger on why I love this book so much. Great writing, of course. But the characters are also just so well developed that they seemed totally real to me. It really left an ache when it was all over. 
Highly recommend!
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Why is it always so much easier to talk about things you don't like? I literally do not have the words to explain why I loved this books so much. It just felt so perfect.
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Character wise, my first impression of Hawley is that he needs professional help. You can tell he never allowed himself to grieve or let go of Loo's mother, Lily, judging by the amount of memories he's kept and how he basically builds this shrine to her everywhere they move. I love Loo's attitude! She just has this "take-no-shit-attitude" and I love girls and women like that. Sadly, I didn't start to love the characters until after about 45% of the book. I loved their relationship as father and daughter but I hate that it took so long for me to actually get to know them and love them.

Plot wise, I didn't like how the chapters detailing how Hawley got each bullet wound were squeezed into the book. There was no transition between bullet chapters and the rest of the book so, it felt like they were added last minute. I felt like I was reading two different books, one being a prequel and the other being the current book, smashed together. #PeanutButterAndJelly I feel like the plot moved really slow and I wasn't seeing the purpose or the end goal of the book.

Also, I didn't get any of the thriller vibes seeing that this is classified as being a thriller and to say that this is supposed to be a duel perspective novel, you get way more of Loo's point of view than Hawley and I wish I had an equal serving of both.
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I enjoyed the clever and interesting way this book is written but I didn't feel any connection with the characters and found I lost interest about halfway through.
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Beautifully written novel, but uneven story. Enjoyed Loo's perspective but began to dread the backstory of the bullets. 
Thank you, Netgalley, for the e-review copy of this book.
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I loved the author's writing and the story was really intriguing . I was really drawn in but in the end I was left with more questions than answers. I was hoping for more details and more of a resolution to the relationship between Lou and Samuel.
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This book was unfortunately not a match for me, but thanks for the opportunity!
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I absolutely loved this book! At a first glance I wasn't sure if I would like it as much as I did, since it's a little different from most books I read. I loved the switching back and forth between present day and learning about each of Samuel Hawley's scars. It was extremely intriguing and kept me on my feet! I loved it so much I bought it as a gift for my Grandpa, who also loved the story too!
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Not for me. I didn't care for the violence. I felt like the story dragged and that there wasn't enough of a payoff at the end.
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The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti has been chosen as THE MARVELOUS NOVEL OF THE MONTH by The Marvelous Site.  The review is a reviewaka, based on an ancient Japanese poetry form.  (To learn more about reviewakas, you can go to http://tinyurl.com/reviewakas.)

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
by Hannah Tinti
c2017

while coming of age
criminal past told through scars
father-daughter bonds

compelling action surrounds
study of parental love

                            MM
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I enjoyed this family story of a father and daughter duo. The story is told in alternating past and present chapters, while the hunt for the truth and hidden secrets unfolds. The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is filled with quirky, lovable characters and will have readers turning pages. A fun mystery/literary fiction mix.
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Overall, I found this to be a beautiful book about love and grief and how far we go on our journeys for each. The beginning was a little hard to get into because of the dual=timeframes, but once I got into the rhythm of it, it was easy to follow and really sucked me in. I found the ending to be a little too open for my tastes, but it didn't detract from my love of the book. Still thinking about it days after finishing.
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I can not say enough good things about this book. There are "hold your breathe thriller moments and there are warm tender moments in the book. I love how the story was structured to explain the twelve lives of Hawley. This was truly a well  written novel with great character development. I highly recommend it. You will not want to put it down and you will be sad that it must end.
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This was really great. Beautifully written. One of the better books I've read this year.
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This was an interesting concept for a novel and from the moment I read the title, I was intrigued about this book. It didn't disappoint and delivered on my expectations. I will look for more from this author.
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Hannah Tinti has a rich cast of characters in "The Twelves Lives of Samuel Hawley." This novel is storytelling at its best. First, there's Samuel, a mystery man with 12 bullet holes scarred on his massive, muscular body. Then there's Loo, a son who is trying to come to grips with a life constantly on the move. Their story - and travels - make for an exciting tale and an ending that's hard to predict.
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This was such a sad tale of a dysfunctional family.  I found myself feeling sorrow for the daughter, and disdain for the father.  I was forever asking myself, "How can a man lead such a life of crime and violence, while protecting his daughter so tenderly?"  Do people like this really exist?  What a puzzlement!
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“Love isn’t about keeping promises. It’s about knowing someone better than anyone else.”

3.5 stars.

Hannah Tinti’s The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley tells the unconventional father-daughter relationship shared between Samuel Hawley and Loo (Louise) – a man running from his past and a girl running toward her future.

Because of his past, Hawley never felt comfortable settling in any one place for long. That is, until he and Loo move to Olympus, Massachusetts, the town where Loo’s mother Lily grew up and where Hawley is determined to let Loo do the same. Shifting between Loo’s present and Hawley’s past, Tinti weaves a tale of love lost, revenge sought, and the cost of protecting those you love.

This book was good, but not one of my favorites. I liked the intricacy of how the author wove together Loo’s and Hawley’s stories, taking place decades apart and yet seeming to fit together smoothly, yet also slightly disjointed, until they ultimately converged at the end. Loo’s coming-of-age story was slightly more interesting than the story of Hawley’s criminal past – and how he received his twelve bullets – but neither quite held my interest for long. I wanted to know what happened, but I wasn’t necessarily sitting on the edge of my seat.

In the end, though, there was beauty in this book. The writing itself was well done, though the pacing sometimes felt a little off. I liked the complexity of the characters – not just Hawley and Loo, but the rest of the community – and they kept the story interesting. The setting of Olympus, this tight-knit fishing community, felt authentic and cozy. But the overall story felt disjointed, and I felt myself not caring for the characters as much as the author clearly cared for them.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad story. I can see why so many people enjoyed it, from the cast of interestingly complex characters, to the weaving of Hawley’s past with Loo’s present, to the intricate setting of a small, close-knit fishing town in Massachusetts. However, something about the story just didn’t pull me in, and I was left slightly disappointed but glad I picked up this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Random House for a copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review.
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