He was called Devil Boy or Sam Hell by classmates that taunted him. The school bully would end up beating him so badly he had to be treated in the Emergency Room. But his deeply religious mother and his caring father would not let their child grow up defined by how different he is from everyone else. His mother tells him he is extraordinary. In this first-person narrative, we look at Sam Hill’s life through his eyes as a boy and as a man. Both stages of his life are a continuing struggle. In the end, Sam not only learns to accept his condition, he finds love. A special kind of love that makes him whole. He even helps another boy with the same rare condition he has. So, what is it about Sam that makes people have a double-take when they see him? Why is he feared and at the same time ridiculed? In 1957, Sam is born with Ocular Albinism, a rare eye condition that causes the pupils to be red. You can read about it at Webmd.com.
I like what Sam says in the Foreword of this book. Life is either a collision of random events…Or it is our predetermined fate. His mother says it is God’s will. Early in his life, Sam makes friends with two other misfits, the only black boy at school and a feisty tomboy with a troubled home life. The three form a lasting bond they will carry into adulthood.
It is a coming of age story about overcoming bigotry and persecution, about forgiveness and redemption, about acceptance, love, and faith.
This is a different genre for best-selling author, Robert Dugoni. I have heard him speak at two writers’ conferences, and I actually met him in the elevator at the conference in Nashville. I kinda wish the elevator had gotten stuck so I could have spoken with him longer. He is best known for both his legal thriller and a police detective series. Click here to go to Amazon and see all his books.
The story of Sam Hell will stay with me for a long time. It is heartwarming and I urge you to read it.