The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

“Love isn’t about keeping promises. It’s about knowing someone better than anyone else. I’m the only one who knows him. I’m the only one who ever will.”

Every now and then you find something special – a song that you can’t get out of your head, a dish that changes your whole palate, or a story that will stay with you for years after reading…

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley asks you what makes a good father and whether you can still be one when you are a bad person.

Book Review

by Kit, our books buyer

“Utterly magnificent – gripping, suspenseful, funny and so full of heart” - Ruth Ozeki

We follow teenage tomboy Loo as, after years on the road, she tries to settle into life in the sleepy Massachusetts town with her stoic father Sam. Facing the prospect of being the constant outsider & living in the shadow of her dead mother, Loo is surrounded by people who knew her mum better than Loo ever had the chance. A childhood love, an estranged parent & a host of auxiliary characters – all brought to life with an insightful grace by the author, Hannah Tinti.

The pace is fast throughout and Loo’s story is intersected by snippits from Samuel’s past – revealing how he got each of the twelve bullet wounds that scar his massive frame. It has already been compared to a Tarantino film or the stories of Scheherazade, but, for me, the book overflows with so much charm, quirk and emotion that you could mistake it for a Coen Brothers film.

A stunningly well-balance story which leaves you torn between a heroic drama, a crime thriller and coming-of-age tale.

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