The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

A Novel

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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A coming-of-age novel and a literary thrill ride about the price we pay to protect the people we love most.

"A father-daughter road trip you won't soon forget."--Richard Russo

Samuel Hawley isn't like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his beloved daughter, Loo, on the road, moving from motel to motel, always watching his back. Now that Loo's a teenager, Hawley wants only to give her a normal life. In his late wife's hometown, he finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at the local high school.

Growing more and more curious about the mother she never knew, Loo begins to investigate. Soon, everywhere she turns, she encounters the mysteries of her parents' lives before she was born. This hidden past is made all the more real by the twelve scars her father carries on his body. Each scar is from a bullet Hawley took over the course of his criminal career. Each is a memory: of another place on the map, another thrilling close call, another moment of love lost and found. As Loo uncovers a history that's darker than she could have known, the demons of her father's past spill over into the present--and together both Hawley and Loo must face a reckoning yet to come.

Praise for The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

"A master class in literary suspense." --Ron Charles, The Washington Post

"Hannah Tinti's beautifully constructed second novel . . . uses the scars on Hawley's body--all twelve bullet wounds, one by one--to show who he is, what he's done, and why the past chases and clings to him with such tenacity. Nearly nine years after The Good Thief, Tinti has fused a cowboy-noir action adventure and a coming-of-age tale into a father-daughter love story." -- The Boston Globe

" The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley  is an adventure epic with the deeper resonance of myth. . . . Tinti exhibits an aptitude for shining a piercing light into the corners of her characters' hearts and minds. Her ability to lay bare their passions, portraying their vulnerabilities and violent urges with equal insight, leaves the reader at once shaken and moved." -- O: The Oprah Magazine

"The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is a gripping father-daughter road trip where the bad guys are never far behind. . . . Tarantino-like in its plot twists, action, and violence, the novel sweeps across the country and back and forth in time. Its structure feels as meticulously crafted as a matchstick Taj Mahal." -- Interview

" The Twelves Lives of Samuel Hawley  is a thrillingly told tale that touches on the mythological and the mundane with equally compelling results." -- Buzzfeed

"This is a surprising and celebratory father-daughter story told with astonishing language and scope." --BBC

"[A]n unforgettable novel that is one part coming-of-age, one part mystery, and all parts utter delight." -- PopSugar

"Tinti's storytelling is masterful--she weaves together dozens of beautifully drawn characters." -- NYLON

"Tinti knows how to blend emotional connections with engrossing plots." -- The Huffington Post

" The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is one part Quentin Tarantino, one part Scheherazade, and twelve parts wild innovation. Hannah Tinti proves herself to be an old-fashioned storyteller of the highest order." --Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth
Publisher: New York : Dial Press, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780812989885
Branch Call Number: FIC Tinti
Characteristics: 376 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

VaughanPLLily Jan 08, 2017

A brilliant thriller mainly set in a small fishing village in the States, with the father-daughter dynamic between Sam and Loo. This is a very engaging story goes back and forth between the past and the present, which is haunted by Sam's past. I couldn't put it down.

From the critics

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Mar 21, 2018

"Everything breaks if you hit it hard enough."
This third book from Hannah Tinti is intense and raw, like a wound that won't quite heal and you just keep poking at it. Ewww. Hawley, a drifter with a dark, criminal past, and his daughter Loo arrive in a small New England fishing village and try to make a fresh start. But if you've ever read a book before, you know that's not going to happen. The narrative alternates between the present and Hawley's story. Each of his 12 bullet scars (hence the title) gets a chapter. I found Loo far more compelling and thought 12 bullets was maybe 3 or 4 too many. Tinti pitches camp in the gritty, dirty realism school of Carver, Russo, and Dubus, but adds more of a James Lee Burke-like thriller element. A striking read, at the very least.

Jan 17, 2018

Desire large print. Mountain park librar. rge print.
Thank you
Kathy Kline, 404-213-1448
All small case Kathy

Jan 08, 2018

I didn't like this book-thought that the father was totally irresponsible, child endangerment: one thing to live your life on the edge, don't bring a child into it

Dec 02, 2017

A widower with a violent criminal past moves into a small Maine fishing town hoping to establish a safe space for his daughter, who gradually learns the stories behind her father's 12 bullet scars. Wash Post 2017 Summer Reading List

sugarmountain Aug 18, 2017

While waiting for any of my holds to arrive, I checked out this title in the meantime. A quirky plot, yet held my attention right from the beginning. Recommended.

AL_ANNAL Jun 26, 2017

Is he a sociopath or a loving father? Can a person be both?

This is a compelling, literary novel that deserves all the accolades it has received!

Jun 23, 2017

Really? A twelve year old girl puts rocks in her fathers sock, bashes her classmates in the face with it, then kicks them with her steel-toed boots? And in consequence, the principal makes her father and theirs join a club together? Yeah, I don't think so, but thanks anyway.

May 15, 2017

Not exactly a thriller, but a story built around the 12 bullets that Samuel Hawley, a career criminal, has been shot with over the course of his life; and over the time that his daughter has been born and raised to a young adult. Wonderful writing, literary quality, and a story that moves back and forth over time and place; a story requiring attention from the reader. Highly recommended to anyone who likes both good writing and good storytelling beyond the usual dreck of bestsellers.

multcolib_alisonk Apr 20, 2017

Loo and her father have gotten by, despite the death of Loo's mother when she was an infant. Samuel approaches his fatherly duties with an intensity underlined by a willingness to use violence, a trait he earned as a small-time criminal. As Loo beings to piece together her family's past, she gains an understanding of her father, but uncovers a mystery: what really happened to her mother all those years ago?

This novel will appeal to both teens and adults who enjoy a coming of age story punctuated by tension and mystery.

Apr 19, 2017

I found the back-and-forth between characters difficult to always piece together. The writing is good but I generally disliked the protagonists.

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