Friday, July 1, 2016

The Hummingbird: A Novel by Stephen P. Kiernan

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Deborah Birch is a seasoned hospice nurse who never gives up—not with her patients, not in her life. But her skills and experience are fully tested by the condition her husband, Michael, is in when he returns from his third deployment to Iraq. Tormented by nightmares, anxiety, and rage, Michael has become cold and withdrawn. Still grateful that he is home at last, Deborah is determined to heal him and restore their loving, passionate marriage.

But Michael is not her only challenge. Deborah’s primary patient is Barclay Reed, a retired history professor and fierce curmudgeon. An expert on the Pacific Theater of World War II, Barclay is suffering from terminal kidney cancer and haunted by ghosts from his past, including the academic scandal that ended his career.

Barclay’s last wish is for Deborah to read to him from his final and unfinished book—a little-known story from World War II that may hold the key to helping Michael conquer his demons. Together, nurse, patient, and soldier embark on an unforgettable emotional journey that transforms them all, offering astonishing insights into life and death, suffering, and finding peace.

my thoughts:

 A touching novel about dying, finding peace and forgiveness.

Deborah is a hospice nurse who only wants her patients to die with dignity and at peace with their lives.  She's called in to care for a new patient named Barclay Reed, a retired professor, who is the epitome of ornery.  And to top it off, she's also dealing with some personal matters at home - her husband Michael has returned from Iraq and is suffering from PTSD.  Deborah is stressed out at work and at home, but she still somehow manages to handle it all.  She's the type of character that you just can't help but fall in love with and want to offer a helping hand to.  However, its the professor's unpublished story that really captures your attention.  The story is about a Japanese fighter pilot who dropped bombs throughout the Oregon forests in a bid to set fire to the state during WWII.  I know it sounds strange, but it really was a fascinating part of history to learn about.  The way that Kiernan threaded it into the story was seamless and made for quite an engaging story.

The Hummingbird is such a treat to read.  The writing is thoughtful, honest, and emotional.  The characters are realistic and flawed, which make them feel so real.  And the story lines tackle heavy issues like PTSD and death in such an open and strong manner, that you can't help but find yourself unable to stop reading.  I found myself staying up late into the night just to finish it.  I really enjoyed meeting these characters and learning about their stories, along with a bit of history.  Kiernan has written a must-read for fans of his stories and fans of great literature.  I would happily recommend this book!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Hummingbird
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm seeing so many amazing reviews of this book - it looks like one that should NOT be missed!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Nadia said...

Heather, it really is such an interesting read. Thanks for having me on the tour!