Let me answer two of those questions at once. No, I didn’t finish the book in time for the book club meeting, but I showed up with only about 70 pages to go. It didn’t seem to matter that I hadn’t finished the tale, except for the spoilers that I heard. In fact, two of the regular members hadn’t read the book at all! The members were so friendly, so inviting, that I’ve already picked up the next two month’s books. (They look great, so I’m sure I’ll tell you more about them on the blog.)
So was this book worth dropping everything and reading? Absolutely!
We learn about the “twelves lives” of Samuel Hawley by way of the twelve bullets that he has had rip through his body. Each bullet is a major point in his life, his body serving as a map to his past. The story of how he earned each bullet wound is told in alternating chapters, jumping back and forth between his intriguing and unique past with his present day relationship with his daughter, Loo.
Hawley is just one of those characters that is an absolutely terrible human being that you can’t help but love. He’s not the best at being a dad, and he’ll be the first to admit that. For example, he teaches Loo how to take the serial number of off a gun. He shows her how to hotwire a car. He condones her choice to respond to her bullies by beating them up. Father of the Year material? Just hold on to your judgements on this character because you’ll soon find that his intentions are golden. It’s just that his execution is sub-par. He may not be your favorite person, but you end up rooting for him in the end.
This book is as close to un-put-down-able as I’ve found this year. The short chapters and the alternating past and present perspective helps drive the plot forward, leaving you wanting to know more about how each bullet correlates with present day events. If I was able to read this book in 36 hours, you’ll be able to spend a good weekend at the pool enjoying it as well.
TL/DR: The Twelves Live of Samuel Hawley is a page-turning adventure on how we love the unloveable and let the past affect our present.
Rating: 4/5 stars
The way to Alexandra's heart is through a great book recommendation.