Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan Book Review

The Hummingbird (437x648)About The Hummingbird

 Hardcover: 320 pages • 
Publisher: William Morrow (September 8, 2015)

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 Tormented by nightmares, anxiety, and rage, Michael has become cold and withdrawn.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.

Told with piercing empathy and heartbreaking realism, The Hummingbird is a masterful story of marital commitment, service to country, the battles we fight for those we love, learning to let go, and finding absolution through wisdom and acceptance.

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My Review

When I read the premise of this book my attention was grabbed. I loved the idea of the storylines merging and helping all of the characters.

Deborah Birch is a hospice worker, one who cares for her patients beyond reproach. We meet Barclay Reed, a professor and expert on World War II who is one of her patients. He is not the easiest patient that she has ever worked with, but she enjoys breaking through and getting to know them, especially when their life is coming to an end. The journey that the two of them take is one of the most touching I have read, and they both have so much to offer the other.

Deborah's husband Michael is not the man she married. He changed after the war and is having a hard time living his life. He tries to do what he can but the nightmares outweigh anything else he has going on.

What I didn't expect was the story about a Japanese pilot during World War II. While I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book, this is the part I couldn't get enough of.

The way the author weaves the plot and storyline is fabulous, and I would highly recommend this book. I have put him on my list of authors to watch.

4 stars

39745About Stephen P. Kiernan

Stephen P. Kiernan is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. During his more than twenty years as a journalist, he has won numerous awards, including the Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award, the Edward Willis Scripps Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment, and the George Polk Award. Kiernan is the author ofThe Curiosity, his first novel, as well as two nonfiction books. He lives in Vermont with his two sons.

Find out more about Stephen at his website and connect with him on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't except that WWII connection either but it is most certainly appealing to me.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!