Friday, February 10, 2017

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley - by Hannah Tinti: BookReview

Title: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
Author: Hannah Tinti
Pages: 400
Publisher: Dial Press
Release Date: 28.03.2017


Samuel Hawley is a mysterious man. His daughter, Loo tries to uncover this hidden life of her father. As she pieces together bits and pieces of their lives, we learn about Hawley's past by looking at the scars on his body, scars caused by the bullets that pierced him. I liked how Hawley's story is revealed as Loo grows up. You'd think that she will become just like her father, but the ending reveals that sometimes you, the reader, can be very wrong.

Although it is clearly said that Samuel Hawley was shot, you are still kept in a tense state because you don't know how he got shot. Every new bullet is a surprise, both because it lets you learn more about him, but also because you most certainly don't see it coming. 

My favourite parts were those where Lily, his wife was present. She is a well-constructed character, and she seems to be the one holding Hawley in one piece. Loo, too, is a good character, and though she is a developing one, you can tell she has complexity and can be a stand-alone protagonist. She is my favourite character, with her quirks and shortcomings, her attempts to get by and add another day to her life. My least favourite character is Marshall. He is not good enough for Loo.

I read in the interview with the author, interview you can read at the end of the book, that the structure of the book was well thought - each Bullet Part had the same recurring elements: the bullet, the woman, the watch to point to love, time, death. I didn't think of this as I was reading the book, but you sense the tension created by these three elements. I find this very smart and so very good!

I strongly recommend this book to those who like suspense, but without the detective and police drama, mystery and alternating perspectives, as the book shifts from present to past to tell the story of each bullet. With each new bullet story you can't help but wonder where the new bullet will take you, since each shooting took place in a different part of the country. It was a good read, indeed! I look forward to reading more from this author.


4/5 stars

I received a free e-book copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

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