May 2017 - The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, by Hannah Tinti

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(Kim@Time2Read) #181

I just want to say.....I'm really glad that Loo didn't shoot Hawley!


(Jennifer D.) #182

May 28th - 31st: Chapters "Bullet #11" through to end of "Loo"
(HC pgs 312-372; PB pgs 397-475)

Chapter 19: "Bullet Number Eleven

  • Hawley shot himself while cleaning his Colt in a motel room. He was drinking while doing this, trigger got caught. Bullet when through left foot, straight through work boot.
  • Hawley gets out his 'pepper's kit' and tends to his wounds. He's always prepared for the worst and has lots of medical supplies
  • it's been 3 ½ years since Lily's death -- Hawley has hit every name on his list, except for King, but Jove took care of him and King is in jail
  • to Hawley, 'The world seemed safe enough for now, safe enough to sleep again.' (p. 398 PB)
  • Hawley is in a motel at the shore, drives into Dogtown a lot to watch Loo. Has visited once or twice, but mostly just watches
  • Hawley goes to see Loo for Halloween - she's dressed as a toothbrush. Mabel gives Hawley her toothpaste costume
  • Hawley's foot still bleeding, leaving trail on the sidewalk. He writes the letter 'L' in blood on the sidewalk
  • Trick or treating at a police officer's house -- he notices the blood, but Hawley says it's fake
  • back at motel, Hawley medicates himself and goes back to scrub off the blood trail. He also helps Mabel clean off her egged car
  • Mabel suggests Hawley should move along, that Loo has a home with her, and that's "what Lily wanted" (p. 412 PB)
  • back at the motel, Hawley seems to be ready to kill himself, and his his gun held under his own chin
  • phone rings -- it's Mabel. Loo had a nightmare and Hawley wasn't outside watching. Hawley tells Loo he'll be right there and she is ready with her toothbrush and her candy.

Chapter 20: "Everything That's Happened & Is Happening & Is Going to Happen"

  • Loo's 17th birthday
  • 2 policemen at door - there's been an accident. Jove's boat found unmanned, floating in the Banks
  • Hawley arrives. Tells Loo he is going to the station with the police, but she should stay behind and begin packing - "Loo was out of practice."
  • Loo goes to the Sawtooth -- Agnes is in labor, so Mary is workmen instead
  • Joe Strand and Pauly Fisk think Hawley shot up Mary's door, and they pretend to shoot at Mary, like target practice
  • Loo takes Mary to the walking freezer and tells her about the forged petition and Marshall shooting his own house
  • Mary throws a carafe of scalding water at Loo, but Loo saw it coming and avoided being burned
  • Gunderson arrives
  • Loo realizes that Mary wants to protect the Banks because that's where her first husband died "It was like looking in a mirror. The same flickering hope in Loo, the same desperate need to be loved, was right there in Marshall's mother." (p. 427 PB) Then Loo realizes it's the same for Gunderson, Agnes, and Hawley
  • Loo tells Gunderson they are leaving town, so she's quitting. He tells Loo he never thought they'd stay too long because all Lily talked about was leaving
  • Gunderson makes Loo and Mary shake hands. "'You ruined my life,' said Mary" "'You're welcome,' said Loo" (p. 429 PB)
  • Gunderson sorry to see Loo go - puts extra money in her envelope
  • Hawley returns from the police, who think Jove was washed overboard. Hawley thinks otherwise, and thinks whatever has happened to Jove is hi fault
  • has brought Chinese food for Loo, and tells Loo when he was younger he "didn't understand what a life can mean in this world."
  • Loo wants to go with Hawley, but he wants her at Mabel's for one night, one more night for her to be a kid
  • Hawley knew Loo found the money in the toilet tank
  • Loo notes they have never been normal
  • Mabel welcomes Loo back to her home

Chapter 21: Bullet Number Twelve

  • Hawley takes out his boat at first light
  • knows where the marker is for Jove's job, easy money, Jove had said. Hawley thought it had gone off without a hitch
  • Loo has stowed away and is on board
  • Hawley makes her put on a life vest
  • Loo tells Hawley about Marshall and the gun, and Marshall shooting his own house
  • Hawley already knew as he had been following Loo ever since her arrest
  • they see a stuffed bear floating - as a marker. Hawley pulls up a lobster trap, with a silver box vacuum-sealed in plastic.
  • the box contains the gold pocket watch from Maureen Talbot's wedding dress
  • another boat arrives -- Ed King and Jove are on board. Jove is badly beaten
  • King makes Jove jumps into the ocean, but first shoots Jove in the back. Jove falls into the water
  • gunfight takes place - King heard Loo's reaction below deck to Jove being shot
  • Hawley is hit and King is hit
  • Loo and Hawley pull Jove on board
  • King shoots Loo, Hawley sees her go into the water -- Hawley had missed King
  • King and Hawley fight
  • Loo arrives on the boat and has a rifle aimed at King - Loo makes King throw the watch in the ocean, then she shoots him in the arm "for the sharks". King's boat sinks.
  • Hawley notes that bullets usually go right through him. this one has not.
  • Hawley feels the world righting itself.

Chapter 22: "Loo"

  • the boat has lost radio and navigation and is off course
  • Loo uses stars as signposts and figures out where they are - mention of the stones from TRUTH to COURAGE to NEVER TRY NEVER WIN
  • Hawley tells Loo about the time Lily shot him
  • Jove dies
  • Hawley says he's been in Loo's place before and you can't save everyone
  • "Watch me" says Loo
  • Hawley is talking as though he's dying - tells Loo about the money, safe deposit box, trust with the lawyers
  • a whale breaks the surface and Loo remembers being inside the whale's heart
  • Loo reaches the Banks where many other boats are present

The End

Discussion Questions

PHEW! :blush: For a book that had a lot of action, there was so much action packed into these last few chapters!!

  1. Do you believe Hawley lived or died?
  2. While the handshake between Loo and Mary was forced by Gunderson, do you feel Mary could actually get over her opinions about Loo?
  3. Is it important that Tinti had Loo note she felt unable to kill King?
  4. How did you find the ending? Do things feel satisfying to you? Had you anticipated what would happen?
  5. What was your favourite moment in the whole book?
  6. If you had to rate the book on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being 'amazing!', how would you rate Hannah Tinti's novel?
  7. Do you feel the book was a good choice as a book club selection?
  8. Would you recommend this book to others?
  9. Is there anything you would love to talk about or ask others about, concerning this story?

(Kim@Time2Read) #183

Do you believe Hawley lived or died?

I really don't know if Hawley lives or not. One of my pet peeves is when an author leaves things hanginsg with no epilogue I guess since I get to decide, I'm going to choose to believe he lives. I hope so. I've grown rather fond of Hawley even though I probably wouldn't like him very much in real life.

While the handshake between Loo and Mary was forced by Gunderson, do you feel Mary could actually get over her opinions about Loo?

Mary might get over it someday. Even Hawley and Mabel seem to have declared a truce! But I don't think Mary is anywhere near getting over it right now, nor was Loo over it. I think they were both going through the motions to keep Prinipal Gunderson happy.

Is it important that Tinti had Loo note she felt unable to kill King?

Absoutely! This may have been the key point in the novel (to me). The whole time I was reading, I really was worried that Hawley's violent past and the constant moving around and isolation would have a negative effect on Loo and that she would follow in her father's footsteps. She certainly demonstrated a violent streak. So I was happy to hear that she couldn't kill King despite what he'd done. To me it was a sign that she'd survived her unconventional childhood relatively unscathed and could go on to live a normal life. I think Hawley's reaction is also important; he apparently was as relieved as I was that she will be able to live a normal life.

How did you find the ending? Do things feel satisfying to you? Had you anticipated what would happen?

I already mentioned how dissatisfied I was with the ending and the loose ends. There is so much I want to know. Not only whether or not Hawley survives, but what happens to him if he does. This would was different than the others, and it's not likely he will survive by patching himself up. There will be questions by law enforcement. Will they learn of his past; learn he is a murderer? What happens when they do?

I also wonder what happens to Marshall. Does he return and do he an Loo remain friends — or more? What about Mabel — do she an Loo maintain any kind of relationship? If Hawley survives, will they're truce hold?

What was your favourite moment in the whole book?

I think my favorite moment was when Hawley was relieved that Loo was not able to kill King.

If you had to rate the book on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being 'amazing!', how would you rate Hannah Tinti's novel?

I'd give it about a 7. Truthfully, I'd picked it up a couple of months ago and couldn't get through the first chapter. Once I got into the story, I wanted to read more, but I'm not sure that I'd have stuck with it long enough to get interested without the motivation of participating in discussions here.

Do you feel the book was a good choice as a book club selection?

I think this is a great book club selection. I got so much more out of it by reading other points of view. I also really like the way we discussed it — slowly over several weeks with lots of time for back and forth.

Would you recommend this book to others?

I'm not sure I would recommend it to my friends as an individual read but I would definitely recommend it as a book club selection. I think it is one of those books that gets better with conversation.


(Jennifer D.) #184

Heh! I am with you, @Kim! I can be okay with ambiguity in fiction, but it really depends on the story. In this instance, I would have liked it more if Tinti had taken one direction or the other and let us know Hawley's fate.

I agree abut Loo's inability to kill King. I hope that her fate is calmer and less intense, and that she has become strong enough to forge a more 'normal' life, to quote her word.

This really was a pretty great choice for a book club discussion, there was a lot going on in the novel, along with some meaty moments to dig into. I don't know that I would blanket recommend this book to everyone, but it will be a book I keep in mind to recommend to some people.

My rating for the book would be between 7 and 8. I thought Tinti's writing style was very good, but I felt like too much was left unfinished.

I am glad you enjoyed the experience of reading and discussion the story over the month. Thank you for letting us know!!! :blush:

Because people read at varying speeds, online book clubs can be tricky. We are hoping this style works, but really appreciate feedback, and want to remain flexible.


(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #185

Oh good question! I think when I finished it, I thought that he was alive...barely...but Loo was getting him to hang on and help was just there - so I'm going to assume he lived. :slight_smile:

How did you find the ending? Do things feel satisfying to you? Had you anticipated what would happen?

So a few things about the ending -- there was a whole lot of that water imagery and symbolism going on to close out the reading wasn't there? Water, boats, the whale makes another appearance, and spouts over Loo. Just like it did to Hawley.
The one piece of "water symbolism" and redemption. I think that ending is closely tied to this piece of symbolism.
There is plenty with this ending and all the water to dig into and take apart to discuss all the symbolism there? (Where's my grade 10 English teacher when I need her? She was excellent at pulling out the symbolism)

I did find it a wee bit predictable? I guess I figured it was going to end that way, or was expecting it. But I was okay with it, but perhaps felt a little bit deflated, if that's coming across correctly - did it fizzle a bit in the end? Maybe. :slight_smile:

If you had to rate the book on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being 'amazing!', how would you rate Hannah Tinti's novel?
Do you feel the book was a good choice as a book club selection?

I would rate it an 8 out of 10. I thought it was an excellent book club selection so I would say an 8 for sure. I loved our discussion here -- there were many things that I'm not sure I really would have played such close attention to if it wasn't brought up here:
a) the bullets and much of their connection to women that was pointed out
b) the water, whales, the symbolism there
c) time - watches, time pieces, stealing time
- just to name a few things that we discussed.

Would you recommend this book to others?
I have recommended it to others, and I gave my copy of the book to a good bookish friend to read - I think it would be something she would really like.

Is there anything you would love to talk about or ask others about, concerning this story?
As mentioned above - some discussion about the ending and all the pieces brought back or were included. Did the ending bring enough of it together -- was there enough emphasis on the Twelve Bullets? What was the meaning behind it all? Could a person survive twelve bullet wounds? What is Tinti trying to say about Hawley?


(Jennifer D.) #186

i wish i was better at the symbolism too... i feel like it ties into Lily's insistence on the baptism for Loo as well. so maybe it's about being cleansed, and ready to start fresh?? i am glad we piked up on it while reading


(Jennifer D.) #187

I would like to once again thank everyone who joined in with us on our first book club!! I hope you all enjoyed it. All of your participation certainly added wonderfully to the read for me - so I hope that was also the case with you all!!

:blush:

(this thread will remain open, so comments are welcome at any time for those reading the novel at other times.)


(Elizabeth M. Nosal) #188

Wow, I am late to this party, but I really want to thank everyone for their comments and observations. I agree with all of you that this was an excellent selection for a book club because there was just so much going on that it was nice to have other people pointing out all kinds of things that would have gotten lost otherwise.

The observation that Hawley and Jove were literally stealing time was a game changer for me, because it influences how I interpret the ending. And I never would have made the connection to Hercules on my own either.

I'd rate this novel more like an 9. I thought some of the wrap up was a little heavy-handed in the last chapters. But I also thought it was beautifully written and full of honest emotion. A good example is when Loo is in the refrigerator with Mary Titus and has the realization of how everyone has their own orbit and gravity and it all boils down to the same longings and needs and disappointments. (I had to remind myself that she is fairly young and has had a less than helpful upbringing when it comes to understanding this kind of thing.) The characters also make an inordinate number of connections to past events. Loo thinks back to Mary Titus in the bathroom, the whale heart at the museum, the shooting lesson, breaking Marshall's finger, Hawley knocking on Mabel's door...and I could go on. All in the last 30 pages or so.

But that whale heart line is pretty darn good. Also, the passage where Loo realizes she's spent all that time focused on the stars and didn't pay attention to the creatures below, ones that can live in the dark...these are the moments that will stay with me from the book.

So disappointed to see that the ending didn't work for the rest of you. I thought it was very well done. This might be because I just read an interview with Marcy Dermansky, who talked about learning to cut the endings of her stories. She gave the example of a story she wrote that ended with a dog getting run over in the road. Her mentor had her cut the dog meeting his death so the story ends when the dog is running into the road, still full of exuberance and excitement -- a very different tone. I think Tinti makes a similar decision here. I don't think Hawley makes it, because there are signs that Loo's first aid isn't working. He's done what he needed to do, as far as Loo is concerned. We can see she'll be okay. And I thought back to that bit about Hawley stealing time. He's escaped death so many times. It seems right that he meets his end. I know Maureen was shot by Talbot, and not Hawley. But it seems right to me that both Jove and Hawley die on the same night that the watch (with its "complications") goes overboard. So here, we end of Loo successfully navigating where she needed to be. Knowing she did all she could to save her father. Knowing where she drew the line (not killing King, not wanting Marshall back, etc.). Not mourning her father. I like that we end on Loo in a moment of strength.

All that said, some of the hopeful comments above wishing Hawley to live make me feel like a jerk -- I almost didn't write all that, because I didn't want to mess with other people's feelings about the end. :confused:

Thanks again to everybody to shared their thoughts here. Not sure I'll join in on Americanah, even though I've been wanting to read that one, too. Either way, I'm excited to see what books get chosen after the summer break, and I'll keep an eye out for an announcement.


(Jennifer D.) #189

LOVE this, @Elizabeth_M_Nosal!!! I am so glad you shared your thoughts, and that the book was such a great read for you. YAY!!! Thank you for your participation over the course of the read. :slight_smile:


(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #190

Yes! Those were great observations and like hearing they were "stealing time" becoming a game changer - your thoughts on the ending change mine -- and I'm kind of swayed to your talk about Hawley and Jove dying, just as the watch going overboard. That's awesome. I like that a lot.

I hope you're able to join in on Americanah!
It really is amazing to hear others' perspectives on what we're reading!