The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is such a unique, beautiful book that I had to think about it all day before writing this review. I definitely give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars, I know this book is going to stay with me for a while!
First, I must comment on the gorgeous book cover: the jack has twelve “bullet hole” cutouts, representing the main character’s twelve lives. The hardcover itself, under the dust jacket, is a star map which is another very relevant theme from the book. I loved how much thought and creativity went into creating the outer book art that perfectly matched the story.
Now to get to the story itself: Hawley and his young daughter Loo move around constantly, under mysterious circumstances. They finally settle down in Loo’s deceased mother’s home town. The chapters alternate between the present and Hawley’s not so honest past, with each of Hawley’s chapters telling the story of how he earned a new bullet hole in his body, miraculously avoiding death with each one. As more is revealed about Hawley’s secrets, Loo starts to question their life more and more, until Hawley’s past finally catches up with him, and Loo, in the present.
I just don’t really have anything bad to say about this book. I was entertained from start to finish and I greatly enjoyed reading about the father daughter relationship. Hawley went from being a law breaking man to a father who would do anything to protect his daughter. So many parents can agree on how quickly priorities change once a child has been brought into the world, no matter the situation. Hawley and Loo’s love and loyalty for each other was endearing and beautiful. The stories of Hawley’s bullet wounds also added a little bit of excitement to the book! Over all a highly recommended novel about love, family, and how our choices in life shape us.