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Friday, November 6, 2020

Second Time Around

 As captivated as I was the first time, re-reading The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley was an even richer experience. I highly recommend Hannah Tinti's 2017 novel, old-fashioned in all the best ways. 

The last time you enjoyed a re-read, what was most notable for you? This time I noticed how artfully the author created her secondary characters, made the first and last scenes thematically congruent, and I was less ambivalent about Samuel's unconventional parenting choices. It's possible that last piece is connected to some disturbing novels I've read since 2017 that featured some loathsome single Dads. 

I'm pleased about my deeper admiration for Samuel Hawley this second time around considering the book club I selected it for. Duly chastened when my last selection for this particular group was uniformly disliked, this year I opted for accessible, without any compromise re the quality of the prose. And though there are more likable characters in Tinti's novel than there were in my last selection, her book is not without its dark side. I'm anticipating far fewer groans at this discussion. We'll see. 

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