“An orphan and a bastard, Jamie Sommers grew up knowing he had no hope of heaven. Conceived in adultery and born in sin, Jamie was destined to repeat the sins of his parents -or so the nuns told him. And he proved them right. Taking to sea, Jamie sought out danger and adventure in exotic ports all over the world as a smuggler, gunrunner – and murderer. Tough enough to handle anything, he’s survived foreign prisons, pirates, and a shark attack. But in a quiet seaside town in Delaware, Jamie discovered something that was enough to drive him insane – and change his life forever. For it was in Hawkes Harbor that Jamie came face to face with the ultimate evil….” – Amazon’s description
S.E. Hinton knows how to capture your attention and make it easy for you to give your full attention to the story in your hands. Her writing is easy and engaging, and her stories are always genuine. The characters feel so real, their struggles relatable.
At first, the book seems to be a creepy, “monster-in-the-dark” story focused on a man on the brink of insanity, and it is (partially). However, coupled with Jamie’s recollections of his life before Hawkes Harbor and learning the true nature of the monster he meets, Hawkes Harbor is more a book of redemption – even for the characters that started at rock bottom.
Jamie went through a lot of pain and trauma in his life, the worst of it happening in Hawkes Harbor. However, Hawkes Harbor is where he stays. I think this is because, although his most traumatic events happened there, it is also where he worked through all his trauma and finding a family and sense of community. It is where he began a major change, and he also was a catalyst of change for people around him.
What happened to Jamie in Hawkes Harbor was like a complete reset to his system. He changed completely, lost himself. Eventually, he was able to rediscover pieces of himself and patch himself back together. He never ran away from what happened. Of course, at first he felt a dependency to the thing he found in Hawkes Harbor (sort of like Stockholm Syndrome), so he felt he couldn’t run away. Later though, he had plenty of opportunities to leave and return to his old life. He didn’t though because, as he said to his doctor in the mental institution, he felt like he was given a chance at redemption. He didn’t truly want to return to his old life. He knew that life wasn’t honest or safe for him. He was able to find his redemption by helping with the redemption of the lowest creature he knew.