While waiting for some new publications to come in, I picked up The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni – it had been recommended by a friend. Wow!! What a good story!! I was so drawn into the boyhood life of Sam Hill, who was born with ocular albinism, meaning he had red eyes. Sam had two wonderful parents who loved him dearly – a very devout mother, who believed God’s will was always the answer, and a hard-working and caring father who wanted his family to have a good life. This fictional novel covers Sam’s life, from his birth up to the age of 40 and shows how all of his experiences made up the man he has become.
Sam Hill is known by many in the community as the “devil boy” because of his red eyes – thus the nickname, “Sam Hell”. His mother is his biggest champion and always encourages him to persevere through his troubles – she is willing to take on those battles along with him in many instances. Sam’s adversaries include school bullies and the educational system. Sam’s father supports him also, but in a different manner than Sam’s mom. Two other students enter Sam’s life because they are also labeled as ‘misfits’ – Ernie Cantwell, the only black student in school, and Michaela Kennedy, who is outspoken, loud and defiant. Ernie and Mickie turn out to be the best friends that Sam needs in his life. They come of age together and live through many troubles showing love, forgiveness and understanding for each other.
I highly recommend The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell if you are looking for a good story that explores right/wrong, family, friendship, faith, forgiveness and living an extraordinary life. I find myself thinking about this book long after I finished reading it!