Cover Image: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

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Member Reviews

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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<blockquote>“Love isn’t about keeping promises. It’s about knowing someone better than anyone else.”</blockquote>

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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The story of a father and daughter who have lived a life on the run, and finally, in her teenage years are settling down in her dead mother's home town. The author skillfully weaves together the present day with the father's back story. I think this would be a good book to recommend to both teens and adults. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Net Galley.
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The Cover
I love this cover. It was one of the things that drew me to this story. The color combinations are gorgeous. Definitely a cover that would make me stop and check it out while browsing a book store.

The Review
This is a book that pulls you in and makes you part of it. I started this book at the beginning of the year, before I got into my reading slump. I was nervous when I decided to pick it back up that I would have to start over. As soon as I started reading it again, I was immediately pulled back in. I was immediately back with Hawley and his daughter, Loo.

First and foremost, this is a great piece of literary fiction. It delves into character development without losing the plot. The characters are believable, flawed, yet you still root for them.

This book covers a lot. The main story, if you will, is Hawley and his daughter finally setting roots in the hometown of Loo’s mother. Through backstory from Hawley’s past, you get to know Hawley and learn what choices led them to here. Not only do you get to see Loo grow up in the “main” part of the story, we get the chance to see some beautiful imagery of Hawley’s past.

The title references twelve scars Hawley has received from various bullet wounds. Each wound has a story and we get to be part of it. Hawley is a con man and has many encounters with various bad folk. There is something incredibly endearing about him and you’re constantly on his side and want to make sure he makes it.

I enjoyed the vast characters and even found the B/C/D characters to be interesting. I was immediately drawn to Loo’s grandmother, as a fiber artist myself, I loved the little touches discussing her dying, spinning, and weaving.

I cannot speak enough of this book. Have you ever read a book and found yourself wanting to cry, though it isn’t necessarily a sad part? This book made me feel more than any book I have recently read. This is one I will definitely be purchasing to put on my shelf soon.
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What a wonderful story of love between a father and daughter as well as the love Samuel still felt for the wife he lost. Samuel, once a gun-toting tough guy who bears 12 scars from bullets he took and dedicated to teaching his daughter survival skills,finally returns to his late wife's hometown after years running from coast to coast. Once there Loo, his daughter, doesn't fit in easily and is eager to learn more about her mother's mysterious death as well as her father's sordid past while trying to form a relationship with her grandmother. I think this is a coming of age story for all ages-the love, dedication, devotion and respect, the desire to protect each other under awkward circumstances is beautifully told through great writing underlining what it really means to have a meaningful parent-child relationship. A very compelling read.
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'The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley' by Hannah Tinti and it's a good one.  Alternating between a father and daughter and his rough past, I found it to be a good balance of love and violence.

Samuel Hawley and his daughter Loo have been on the run for most of her life, living in hotels and being ready to flee at a moment's notice.  Now they are settling down in a small town in Massachusetts.  Loo is a teenager who is curious about her past, and this town holds some of the answers.  Her father has a body full of wounds, and in twelve stories, we learn where some of the damage came from.

There is a tenderness and love to the father and daughter, but the father is all business and willing to shoot first.  The problems of his past trouble him and hang over the story.  Loo is a capable young woman who trusts her father, but is beginning to have questions.  

I really enjoyed reading this.  The prose is beautiful in places.  I also loved how Hawley's story has taken him all over the United States.  He's not a good guy, but he's not unsympathetic, which is a tough balance.  I look forward to seeing what this author writes next.

I received a review copy of this ebook from The Dial Press, Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
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A great bittersweet story about the love a family shares.
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While I enjoyed many initial items about this book -- the cover, the description of the book -- I could not seem to get past the first 75 pages. Something about the writing kept me from diving into the characters' lives, even as they were incredibly complex (in a good way). I have since had friends read the novel and say it was fabulous, so I will have to try again someday, but as for now I am stuck with a feeling of underwhelmment.
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It is for books like this that I joined NetGalley -- a beautifully crafted story about unique characters told in rich language. Such books don't come along very often, but when they do, they stand out above the merely popular. The story of love, sought, lost and found, has been told time and again but rarely with such sensitivity and clear eyes. I would put this author in the pantheon with Richard Russo, Richard Ford, and Elizabeth Stroud, authors who present people in all their frailty but with love and compassion. It is a rare gift. 
Tinti has constructed a story on two levels, We follow Samuel Hawley, a self-taught thief as his life is punctuated by 12 shooting in which he takes the bullet. It is an effective gimmick, never losing its drama as each event fills in more of his back story and his character. At the same time we meet his daughter Loo whose story begins midway through her father's life. The two strands are woven together seamlessly, yet each character stands alone, fully developed. Secrets that each keeps from the other are revealed to the reader in a wonderfully organic manner. The ending both surprised and delighted me, revealing much, but not all of the stories of father and daughter and the people in their lives. An interview with the author at the end was a great addition to my understanding of the book. I can't decide if I wish I had read it before embarking on the story so I could have had the benefit of the author's insights or whether that would have spoiled the revelations as they unfolded. I guess in a perfect world, I would go back and reread this story and enjoy the process even more.
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Book was really interesting - I felt myself being drawn into their story and wondering if Hawley was on the run from committing crimes until I read what it was actually from. Really intriguing characters and I liked how each chapter went back and forth between the past and present, and each time he was shot.
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I really enjoyed this. I loved the interspersing of the bullet stories with the present day and how well it related. I would recommend.
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5 stars for this excellent book that reads part thriller, part adventure, part travelogue .  This is beautifully written and explores the relationship between a Father with a dark past and his young daughter as they are on the run. Its a very untypical story and very entertaining to read.
The characters are on point as the story weaves from the Fathers dark past to their present lives. The rich descriptions all add to the story. The plot is suspenseful and sweeps the reader away to the last page. A very highly recommend read! 
Thank you for the ARC which did not influence my review
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I loved the language of the book and the way the book is structured. It's really beautiful, haunting, and dark. The characters are extremely compelling, and the mystery of how each bullet is going to be released helps pull the story through. I wouldn't have thought this is the kind of book I would normally like, as I'm not usually partial to books with such a strong "Western" feel aside from Cormac McCarthy, but this book really gripped me.
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I don't know if it was a matter of timing, but this story didn't captivate me in any way. The book is well written, but I just couldn't connect to the story. I was bored and felt like I forcing myself to finish . I was also not a big fan of the ending. I know a ton of people who loved this book, but it just wasn't for me.
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I'm not sure what to make of this book. Is it a coming-of-age story? Is it a thriller? The truth is, it does not matter. It is a fascinating read that brings us into the lives of Samuel Hawley and his daughter Loo. The title refers to the twelve scars that resulted from bullet wounds on Samuel's body. As you can tell, Samuel's life is a bit nefarious, but what he wants is to earn a living and support his now orphaned daughter. Unfortunately for him, the past has a way of catching up to characters like Samuel. This is fortunate for us, the readers, for it offers a fascinating, compelling read.
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Ever read a book and finish it not sure if you hated it or loved it? This was that book for me. It was a bittersweet book about a father, Samuel Hawley, and his criminal past that catches up with him as his daughter, Loo, reaches adolescence. Most of it takes place in the present, as Hawley and Loo try to settle down as Loo comes of age after years of moving around from place to place, with chapters woven in about the 12 "lives" of Samuel, or the 12 times he got shot over the years and serve as his backstory throughout the book. 

It was just hard to process the whole novel. The life of violence that Hawley unknowingly passes along to his daughter is hard to take in. Both Loo and Hawley seemed a little sociopathic and it was hard to relate or root for them at several points in the book. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC copy of the book in return for a review.
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I liked the premise of the book, execution not so much. The characters were a little rough around the edges, and the transitions were a bit confusing.
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