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The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  15,417 ratings  ·  2,294 reviews
After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife’s hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother’s mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his cri ...more
Kindle Edition, 399 pages
Published March 28th 2017 by The Dial Press
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Janis The inside publisher/author flap states that "The hidden past is made all the more real by the twelve scars her father carries on his body." That lea…more The inside publisher/author flap states that "The hidden past is made all the more real by the twelve scars her father carries on his body." That leads me to believe he survived and is still walking around with those roadmap-scars - plus, I just want him to survive!(less)
Hannah The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley will be categorized as "adult" in bookstores. Although it does feature a teen protagonist, Loo--a girl who ages from…moreThe Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley will be categorized as "adult" in bookstores. Although it does feature a teen protagonist, Loo--a girl who ages from 12-17 throughout the book. My last novel, The Good Thief, was also an adult book that ended up "crossing over" and being read by both adults and more mature teenagers (high school). I hope this one does too. (less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  15,417 ratings  ·  2,294 reviews

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Emily May
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, modern-lit, 2017
Beautiful and bittersweet.

There's something about the kind of relationships, like the one in this book, that really speaks to my heart. A gruff, gun-toting, bullet-scarred man, and a spirited teenage girl - an unlikely pair, and yet when the relationship is so full of love and mutual respect, as it is here between Loo and Samuel Hawley, there is nothing so strong.

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley alternates between the present and past. In the former, Samuel Hawley teaches Loo how to survive (s
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
book club is going on NOW!

what a kick-ass heartbreaker of a book.

this would be really good friends with She Rides Shotgun - both are grit-lit coming-of-age novels featuring the relationship between a criminal father and the lessons such a man is able to impart to his young daughter to prepare her for the world and the struggles to come: how to hotwire a car, shoot a gun, or deal emphatically with bullies.

this one is less-grit, more-heart than s.r.s., bu
Always Pouting
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Why is it always so much easier to talk about things you don't like? I literally do not have the words to explain why I loved this books so much. It just felt so perfect. I love Loo and Sam and Lily and I'm so heartbroken that the book is over and I want to curl up and cry. I felt so taken in by the book I could barely breathe until I finished reading it. I loved the plot line and the structure and the characters and the writing. I wish I was more eloquent so I could say something more meaningfu ...more
Larry H
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
One thing about love, be it romantic, parental, filial, even platonic, is that sometimes you can't help whom you love, and you find yourself loving someone in spite of their faults (if not even because of them). Do we turn our backs on those we love just because they may be imperfect, despite all they may have given us? These ideas and questions are at the core of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley , Hannah Tinti's exquisite new novel.

For as long she can remember, it's just been the two of th
This novel is a bittersweet examination of a father and daughter relationship and a coming of age story. Samuel Hawley and Loo have spent most of their time living in places on a temporary basis. This has ensured that they have the routine down pat when it comes to leaving, taking only the bare minimum, but always with them are the items that remind the two of them of Lily, Loo's mother, and which form a dedicated shrine in the bathroom. The constant moving means Loo has no friends but this life ...more
Elyse  Walters
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
"And then suddenly it was over. The lunge threw him off balance and he flipped backward, so that for a brief shining moment he was upside down, his feet still peddling the air, and then the full weight of Samuel Hayley crashed down on the tip of the greasy pole, snapping the end of the mast in two, shooting splinters across the harbor, bringing the entire town to their feet, and sending a jumble of wood and grease and man exploding into the sea – – followed by a tiny red flag, flattering slowly ...more
Wow!  This book definitely took me on one heck of a scary and thrilling roller coaster ride!

THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY by HANNAH TINTI is an absolutely riveting and captivating tale of a father’s love for his daughter.  This book drew me in right from the very first chapter and throughout all of the 12 bullet wounds that Samuel Hawley endured to the very last heartfelt chapter. Loved it!

HANNAH TINTI delivers a touching, moving, heart-wrenching, impressive, and very descriptive read here w
Angela M
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it

Reading this book prompted me to think about how I judge the books that I read. Certainly by the writing, the story, the structure, the themes, that sometimes indescribable thing that draws me in, and of course, the characters. There are probably other things that influence my views - the mood I'm in, maybe the book I've just read. I thought about this because Sam Hawley is not the kind of character that I usually care about. He has led a life of crime and is far from the perfect parent but yet
"The past is like a shadow, always trying to catch up.”

3.5 Stars. A beautifully-written story about an unconventional father-daughter relationship. For as long as Loo can remember, it's always been just her and her father Samuel Hawley; her mother Lily died when Loo was a baby. Hawley sets up a shrine to Lily at every single place they stop. They've never stayed in one place for long. By the time Loo is 12, she's gone to seven schools in seven states. When it's time for her to enter eighth g
Diane S ☔
Mar 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor
3.5 I have had a hard time processing this novel, what to think, how to explain my rating and reactions to this book. As a thriller it would rate a solid four, the plot is different, loved the format and how we learn Hawley's back story through the bullet holes on his body. These chapters alternating with he and Loo, his daughter, now living in a small Massachusetts town, the home of Loo's mothers birth.

This is where it gets a little tricky for me, because this father and daughter relationship,
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3 stars. I thought this was an averagely good book. I think that my expectations were set a little too high which left me feeling underwhelmed upon finishing (I hate when I do that to myself!). It started off a lot stronger than it finished and I found the story really dragged at times. Once I hit the ¾ mark, I was looking forward to finishing the book as I found it was becoming somewhat repetitive and I was losing interest.

I really liked the main characters Hawley and his daughter, Loo. The sto
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

No one seems to love or understand me
And all the hard luck stories they keep handing me
Where somebody shines the light
I'll be coming on home tonight
Bye, bye Blackbird

Bye, Bye Blackbird -- Written by Ray Henderson (composer) and Mort Dixon (lyricist)

”When Loo was twelve years old her father taught her how to shoot a gun. He had a case full of them in his room, others hidden in boxes around the house. Loo had seen them at night, when he took the guns apart and cleaned them at t
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I always find it interesting how quickly a book can grab you. This one managed it within the first few pages. Such a beautifully crafted book. “She carried the rough and tumble look of children being raised by men.”

This book is primarily about a father and daughter and the love they have for each other. But it's also about the father's past, a lifetime of bad mistakes. He's not a very good criminal, but he's a very good survivor. He's not easy to identify with, but he's easy to understand and e
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2017
What a clever novel - the story and the execution are excellent! I was spellbound.

This is a father-daughter saga, spanning approximately 25 years. Their stories are told in alternating chapters, but (thankfully) it is all told in third person so you don't have to deal with multiple narrators. Samuel Hawley is the father, a ne'er do well who has spent most of his life committing crimes or running from them. In the course of his criminal career, he has been shot twelve times. His history is reveal
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How can we love loathsome characters? Well, I did just that with Samuel Hawley! His relationship with his daughter Loo is very special, not a normal relationship, but you feel the love.
This is in part a thriller, and really keeps you reading!
I would recommend this!
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This book is about a man who was shot twelve times during his life as a criminal. There is no way I should have cared about Samuel Hawley or how he obtained those bullet wounds at all; but I did.

Samuel’s wife Lily brought changes into his life, including a baby girl. However, Lily died and the way this happens and how it affected Samuel and their daughter becomes one of the mysteries of the story. Samuel created a shrine for Lily wherever he travelled – was it grief? Remorse? Guilt? Again, I sho
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I am hoping that as I write this review that Hannah Tinti is sitting up in some skyscraper sitting across from Ethan and Joel Coen who want to make her book into a full length feature film. The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is one of those books that knocked me off my feet and left me begging to be part of Hawley's group. Hawley and his daughter, Louise( Loo) remind me of the brotherly duo in The Sisters Brothers. Ironically, the setting takes place in contemporary America, but as I was readin ...more
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It always makes for an interesting read when the author chooses to make the bad guy into the hero and we find ourselves rooting for him despite the fact that he is a multiple murderer! Samuel Hawley is such a man and although he is many things in this story he is chiefly Loo's father and protector and this is what makes him appealing.
Not that he is a good father in the normal way of things. He bonds with baby Loo by giving her whisky on his finger tip, as a young child he teaches her how to fire
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: public-library
Samuel Hawley. Fisherman. Father. Criminal. Hawley and his daughter, Loo, don't stay in one place for very long. They are both irregular weaves, it's difficult for them to fit in, hard to blend. There is always the shadow of Hawley's past misdeeds looming just behind him. A shrine to his wife always travels with them. In a way, remembering too well is like being buried alive.

I read "The Good Thief" by this author a couple of years ago and was struck by how different it was. She has done it agai
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is an epic road trip. Hannah Tinti has written a beautifully constructed gripping novel.

It's basically a book alternating from Hawleys past life to his life now with Loo.

As a parent, Hawley is a mess. But his love for Loo and Lily could not be questioned. He is a wounded person, not only on his body, but in his soul. He's also a career criminal but you actually like him.

Lily is a most interesting individual.

Loo is curious and wants more from life and everything
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coming-of-age, bvc
This was a beautiful story of a father – daughter relationship. It tells of a past pertaining to the father, Samuel Hawley, from which he is trying to protect his daughter at all costs. His past is Herculean, it is a time of it’s own, yet it cannot be separated from the present. He has scars from twelve bullets. Twelve bullets are the equivalent of the twelve tasks of Hercules, the twelve hours on a clock. Hawley’s past is shady, but he is a good man and wants the best for his daughter. His job ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I feel like I stepped into some weird, uber violent twilight zone. It's like a father/daughter mashup combo of gratuitous violence, a la Natural Born Killers. It's not to say that the plot is similar to Natural Born Killers, because it's not. It's just the bizarre, nonsensical violence in frank, unyielding terms.

What is the point of violence just for the sake of it? I am in the target market for this book, so it would be unfair to say that the book isn't for me, because it's supposed to be.

The d
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This author has mad talent. She blends two fairly different genres and a bunch of different tales and time periods quite seamlessly. She presents the North Shore town and its inhabitants flawlessly. She blurs the lines of idyllic relationships, while delving into the majors: grief, love, coming of age, identity, and the search for answers. She even makes the reader forgive/forget/accept/embrace/empathize with a murderer. Well done. While I enjoyed this book and marveled throughout at the writing ...more
A tough guy, a man of few words, a dude with twelve bullet holes in his body, Samuel Hawley is no stranger to violence. But, he's got a heart of gold, deeeeeeeeep down, much like Clint Eastwood in any of his spaghetti westerns. We are meant to see that and sympathise with him, despite his criminal past, because of his love for the now-dead Lily, and his devotion to Loo, their teenage daughter.

Loo (can't stand the spelling of her name) is just as tough, breaking fingers and swinging rock-filled s
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Samuel Hawley is not necessarily a good man or a great father. He’s neither a “gentle giant” nor a “criminal with a heart of gold.” Whatever you think you know about him simply because he’s a single father raising his daughter, you’re probably wrong. It does not mean that he doesn’t love his daughter, on the contrary actually. I see Hawley as living proof that sometimes it takes a man with less conscience to fully protect the people he loves. This man will do whatever it takes, go to the ends of ...more
Jessica Jeffers
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, fiction
I chose this book for a seven-hour flight from Baltimore to San Francisco, by way of Milwaukee because my loan from NetGalley was about to expire. That’s always kind of risky, because whenever I get on a plane I have a tendency to try to push myself to read as much of a book as possible but then my opinion of the book sometimes suffers from reader’s fatigue. I focus on plowing through and forget to enjoy.

Anyone else find themselves doing that?

But this book is like 480 pages in print form and I r
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This father–daughter story is an unusual but winning blend of small-town New England atmosphere and high-octane action scenes. Imagine a John Irving novel getting the Hollywood shoot-’em-up treatment and you’ll have some idea of what Tinti does in this unexpectedly dark book full of quirky characters (Mabel was my favorite). I found Loo’s everyday life a bit dull in comparison with the more exciting revelations about Hawley’s past. (It’s also a shame that the U.K. publishers did not change the f ...more
Ron Charles
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the ancient myth of Hercules — the plot of all plots — re-engineered into a modern-day wonder. Tinti, the editor and co-founder of One Story magazine, knows how to cast the old campfire spell. I was so desperate to find out what happened to these characters that I had to keep bargaining with myself to stop from jumping ahead to the end. (Matt Reeves, lined up to direct the next Batman movie, has already optioned the novel for television.)

The story unfolds in Olympus, but not the celestia
Rachel León
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5 stars, rounded up because there are some brilliant aspects) I'm clearly in the minority here as I see this novel has received mostly 5 star reviews. I did like it, but I didn't *love* it.

Samuel Hawley's body is covered with twelve bullet wounds from the twelve times he was shot. His daughter Loo doesn't know the secrets of his violent past and he tries to protect her from the truth of her mother's death. The novel is told in alternating chapters of past and present, weaving through time wi
Rae Meadows
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley feels like a good old fashioned novel in the best of ways. Storytelling at its finest. Although the conceit felt slightly contrived--the stories of each of the twelve times Samuel Hawley is shot--Tinti creates lasting and affecting characters who I rooted for the whole way through. The relationship between a daughter and her outlaw father was hard to resist. Tinti is a master of detail, with imagery reappearing throughout, and she takes such care with every sent ...more
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Hannah Tinti grew up in Salem, Massachusetts, and is co-founder and editor-in-chief of One Story magazine. Her short story collection, ANIMAL CRACKERS, has sold in sixteen countries and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway award. Her first novel, THE GOOD THIEF, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, recipient of the American Library Association's Alex Award, and winner of the Center for ...more

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