Twelve Lives

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley: A Novel by Hannah Tinti

Washington Post review:

“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.”

Featured in Washington Post’s 50 Notable Fiction Books of 2017.

NPR review:

“Hannah Tinti’s tender, careful evocation of how memories work for and on each of them makes this a must-read.”

Featured in NPR’s Book Concierge Great Reads of 2017.

Aggregated customer review rating:

4.2 out of 5.0

Ranked 141st in Books

Ranked 42nd in Fiction

$ 12

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is a novel by Hannah Tinti and it is a gripping thriller that has been named one of the best books of the years by NPR and The Washington Post.

Newsweek calls it “A gripping American-on-the-run thriller . . . a brilliant coming-of-age tale and a touching exploration of father-daughter relationships” while Ann Patchett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth hails it as, “One part Quentin Tarantino, one part Scheherazade, and twelve parts wild innovation.”

A master class in literary suspense” recommends The Washington Post and The New Yorker follows suits with “Tinti depicts brutality and compassion with exquisite sensitivity, creating a powerful overlay of love and pain.”

Reading one page of this novel is not enough. The story immediately mesmerizes.

Samuel Kawley is a loner who has spent years living on the run, moving from motel to motel, while raising his beloved daughter, Loo. He certainly is not like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. They have settled there after much time has passed and Loo is a teenager.

Samuel wants to give his daughter a normal life. This is his late wife’s hometown and he work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at the local high school.

Curious about her mother, Loo begins to investigate and the more she learns brings up more and more mysteries about her parents’’ life before she was born.

These mysteries only become more so by the twelve scars her father carries on his body. Each scar is from a bullet Hawley took over the course of his notorious criminal career.

As Loo uncovers more of a history filled with demons, darkest spills from the past into the present and she and her father now have to face the reckoning together.

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