Title – The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
Author – Robert Dugoni
Genre – Historical Fiction
My Rating – 4/5
Sam Hill always saw the world through different eyes. Born with red pupils, he was called “Devil Boy” by his classmates; “God’s will” is what his mother called his ocular albinism. Her words were of little comfort, but Sam persevered, buoyed by his mother’s devout faith, his father’s practical wisdom, and his two other misfit friends.
Sam believed it was God who sent Ernie Cantwell, the only African American kid in his class, to be the friend he so desperately needed. And that it was God’s idea for Mickie Kennedy to storm into Our Lady of Mercy like a tornado, uprooting every rule Sam had been taught about boys and girls.
Forty years later, Sam, a small-town eye doctor, is no longer certain anything was by design—especially not the tragedy that caused him to turn his back on his friends, his hometown, and the life he’d always known. Running from the pain, eyes closed, served little purpose. Now, as he looks back on his life, Sam embarks on a journey that will take him halfway around the world. This time, his eyes are wide open—bringing into clear view what changed him, defined him, and made him so afraid, until he can finally see what truly matters.
I received an e-ARC of The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is the life story of a boy named Samuel Hill, a boy who has ocular albinism, i.e. he has red eyes. Distrustful of this, the townspeople are naturally skeptical of letting Sam around their kids and soon the children in his school begin calling him Devil Boy.
I was very amazed by the number of significant issues that were dealt with in this book. Sam faces discrimination for a genetic condition that isn’t his fault. His friend Ernie is discriminated against because he’s African-American. The book also deals with bullying, grief, the loss of a relative and so many more issues and it was kind pretty eye-opening reading about these from a character who faces these issues.
However, after a certain point, I found it slightly exhausting. It seemed like the only purpose of the book after a while was to try and make the reader cry.
Nevertheless, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell makes for quite an interesting read and hence receives 4 stars from me.
And that’s all for today! Hope you have a great day! Until next time –