A compelling heartfelt story that delivers a solid emotional punch.
Focusing on the dynamics between Hawley and Loo, a father and her daugher, this novel brings to life both everyday instances and more charged scenes, such as the ones given in Hawley’s ‘bullets’ chapters.
The writing itself reads smoothly, and is perhaps reminiscent of the one of Ann Patchett and/or Alice Hoffman. Tinti describers seemingly mundane scenes in a way that is incredibly compelling: by focusing on the details she is able to craft a vivid picture.
Loo’s relationship with her father is depicted with incredible honesty; their earnest relationship is what the story is built on. Hawley’s past is also relevant to the story, serving as to explain some of his actions and behaviours with Loo later in his life. The violence of his past is at times juxtaposed with Loo’s – less intense – experiences.
Bittersweet, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, is a sweeping and deeply felt tale recommended for people who have enjoyed the film Léon: The Professional or even True Grit.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars