The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

The Extraordinary Life of Sam HellThe Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni
Published by Lake Union Publishing on April 24th 2018
Pages: 448
ISBN: 1503949001
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“We realize it is in those quiet moments that each of us has the ability to make our life extraordinary.”

Sam was born with ocular albinism which resulted in him having red pupils. While many of his peers were freaked out by this and called him “devil boy”, his Mother declared it’s “God’s will” and fought for Sam to be able to attend Catholic school. Sam suffered from the ignorance of others (including a nun at the school) and constant bullying. He then found friendship with Ernie, the only African-American in his class and Mickie, a girl who proved to be tougher than any of the boys in their class. The three of then teach each other acceptance, friendship, loyalty, and what it means to be supportive of someone.

This book is told through alternating timelines. We see Sam as an adult and as a child. We learn about his life, his loves, his loses, his family, his friends, his dreams, his faith and his chosen career path. My favorite character in this book is his Mother with her unwavering devotion and belief that Sam is destined to lead and extraordinary life. I love how she has quiet strength and is not afraid to advocate for her son.

Another solid book by Dugoni! This is a well written account of one man’s life. I thought the ending was a little much. I think Dugoni is accustomed to writing his Tracy Crosswhite series and leaving readers waiting for the next book, so in this book, perhaps he tried a little too hard to tie everything up.

I love that this book focused on accepting the difference in others, faith and the true meaning of friendship.

*Do read the acknowledgements section!!! That is a nice plus, we learn about Dugoni’s family and the story/inspiration behind this book.

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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