Thursday, October 22, 2015
I think we all take each day of our life for granted. I believe it's because we firmly believe that there will be a tomorrow and the day after that until we grow old. But the people I think truly appreciate what they have are those that have to face a terminal diagnosis, knowing that tomorrow is never a guarantee for any of us. Stephen P. Kiernan has written an unforgettable novel that showcases three very unique relationships in The Hummingbird. It is written in alternating chapters, one in the life of hospice nurse, Deborah Birch, and the story of the Sword she reads to her dying patient Professor Barclay Reed.
Deborah's relationship with the Professor is to help him see that even though time is running out on his life he still has a lot to offer. She promises that even though he has fired every single nurse in three different hospice care facilities, she will not give up on him. As the two work on coming to terms with how they interact with one another in the time that is left, the Professor asks her to read an unpublished book that he had written and at the conclusion of the story, to tell him if she believes it is true or simply a work of fiction. Along the way, the Professor's brilliant metaphors for life, help Deborah deal with her husband, Michael who after returning home from his third tour of duty is not the man she married. His violent outbursts have been a huge strain on their marriage and now they simply exist as roommates in the same home. Not the life she had ever imagined and not one she wanted to open up to the Professor about.
The Professor has written numerous volumes on the Pacific Theater and the Sword was the only one that never got published. As they read through the story together, the Professor helps Deborah understand the subtleties behind what Michael has brought home from the war. He uses parts of the story to help her gain insight into the clues he brings up that offer more than what she has been seeing all along. Deborah also finds that through each case she has worked with her patients, they all offer her the one thing that money can never buy and it's a gift she carries with her to each and every patient. She promises that she will do all she can to ensure that their death is peaceful, as painfree as possible and that they leave behind no regrets if she can help it.
I received The Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, aside from a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. While this is NOT a book for my Christian readers, those who find an interest in hospice, WWII and PTSD, will love where these stories intersect and find such value for life, it kinda of changes how you move forward after reading this. There is some profanity, but taken in the context of the character of Michael, as a returning soldier from the war, it would be what one would expect dealing with the nightmares and issues he has. In my opinion, this one is worth 4 out of 5 stars.
For more information about The Hummingbird, Stephen P. Kiernan, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Stephen P. Kiernan on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.
To read more reviews on The Hummingbird, please visit William Morrow's website.