A mesmerizing father-daughter epic that explores what it means to be a hero.
Samuel Hawley isn't like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his 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.
She also grows more and more curious about the death of the mother she never knew. 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 presentand together both Hawley and Loo must face a reckoning yet to come.
A coming-of-age novel and a literary thriller that weaves back and forth through time and across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is an unforgettable story about the cost we pay to protect the people we love most.
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 the kitchen table, oiling and polishing and brushing for hours. She was forbidden to touch them and so she watched from a distance, learning what she could about their secrets, until the day when she blew out birthday candles on twelve chocolate Ring Dings, arranged on a plate in the shape of a star, and Hawley opened the wooden chest in their living room and put the gift she had been waiting forher grandfather's rifleinto her arms.
Now Loo waited in the hallway as her father pulled down a box of ammunition from the front closet. He took out some .22 rimfireslong-rifle and Magnumas well as nine-millimeter Hornady 115-grain. The bullets rattled inside their cardboard containers as he ...
Tinti is a writer gifted beyond her years, both literary in her perceptions – "the sailboat passed a cargo ship the length of an aircraft carrier, stretching across the surface like a giant guarding the edge of the world" – and possessing a thoroughgoing comprehension of the human condition, our sometimes desperate search for love and family, the rage we often feel as we stumble through our ignorance and past our fear to confront our mortality.
(Reviewed by Gary Presley).
In Hannah Tinti's novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Hawley and Jove are sent to recover an antique watch, a priceless item stolen from a crooked boxing promoter and now in the hands of a thief-survivalist living on an island off Washington's coast. The watch has many complications, the term used for any mechanical watch function other than telling time. Hawley becomes fascinated with the device:
The watch was warm from his body and heavy in his palm ... A beating pulse in an antique tomb. He heard a gear click into place and then the watch began to chime.
It was more than a simple marking of an hour. The watch was playing a song. Sweet and melancholy, with the tone of a wind-up music box, as if a miniature ...
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