books and reading

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

These days, reading an uplifting “feel good” story seems more important than in the past. And, to be honest, I don’t read much of this type. Give me a good dystopian, thriller, or horror book any day. However, this one kept coming across my radar and had rave reviews, so when I saw it on Prime reading, I went ahead and downloaded it.

From Goodreads:

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. 

Some chapters are about Sam’s childhood, while some are his adult life. Between these two perspectives, you really get to see how Sam has evolved. And no spoilers, but Sam’s a good person surrounded by a handful of good people, but mostly terrible people who bully and judge him. No matter the bullies, Sam’s ability to remain a good person is unshakable. Bullies aside, this book really is uplifting and makes you have faith in humanity, simply because Sam is so great. I definitely recommend this one, especially these days.

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