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When I read this book, it was called The Twelve Bullets of Samuel Hawley, which I think is a much better title, as each incident gets a chapter. Plus, it just sounds more intriguing: as in, really, one person survived twelve bullets? But then, Samuel is near mythic in his bad boy status, his exploits and his magnetism. He’d also do anything for his teen-age daughter Loo, and still grieves for her mother Lily, both exceedingly tough themselves. All three are pretty fabulous characters, as is the setting of a fictionalized Gloucester, MA, where Samuel and Loo try to make a normal life for themselves despite the constant threat of Samuel’s violent past catching up to them. It all adds up to substantial fun with broad appeal.
— Sara, Atlanta
April 2017 Indie Next List
“Hannah Tinti has accomplished something rare in The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley: she has written a book too exciting to put down, but too well written to race through or, heaven forbid, skim. Her novel, however, is more than just a treat for those of us who love literary thrillers; it is also a provocative exploration of violence and the extremes to which men and women will go to defend those they love. Because Tinti is so good at what she does, it is virtually impossible for us, her readers, not to become complicit in the mayhem and to be left wondering, in the end, what we would do in her characters' places.”
— Ezra Goldstein (E), Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
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 A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK
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."--The Washington Post
"Tinti depicts brutality and compassion with exquisite sensitivity, creating a powerful overlay of love and pain."--The New Yorker
"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."--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."--O: The Oprah Magazine
"An achingly beautiful story. . . . Tinti's language is precise and beautiful."--The Dallas Morning News
"Gripping. . . Tarantino-like in its plot twists, action, and violence, the novel sweeps across the country and back and forth in time."--Interview