Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Hummingbird
by Stephen Kiernan

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Deborah Birch is a seasoned hospice nurse whose daily work requires courage and compassion. But her skills and experience are tested in new and dramatic ways when her easygoing husband, Michael, returns from his third deployment to Iraq haunted by nightmares, anxiety, and rage. She is determined to help him heal, and to restore the tender, loving marriage they once had.

At the same time, Deborahs primary patient is Barclay Reed, a retired history professor and expert in the Pacific Theater of World War II whose career ended in academic scandal. Alone in the world, the embittered professor is dying. As Barclay begrudgingly comes to trust Deborah, he tells her stories from that long-ago war, which help her find a way to help her husband battle his demons. 


Kritters Thoughts:  A hospice nurse is sent on her next case and she is the third called to this home just from her agency, so she knows that she is in for a doozy!  Barclay Reed is a retired professor and knows that his days are numbered, but doesn't know how and when the end will come.  While this hospice nurse has enough on her plate, she is also dealing with personal tragedy as her husband is suffering PTSD as he has come home from another tour of duty and this one may have been the worst.  

This book was jam packed, but didn't seem overwhelming.  There was a lot going on, but it didn't feel like too much and there isn't anything I would have edited out.  I have now read a few books with veterans from our current war and it so very interesting to read how current combat affects their minds and even though technology has improved over the years, the act of killing someone is still traumatic.

One other thing that was interesting about this book was the story that was inserted throughout the main plot.  It chronicled the story about a Japanese fighter pilot who's plot to set fire to parts of Oregon went unnoticed in the history books.  The reader finds out semi early on that this story is Barclay's work that hasn't been published for many reasons and may or may not be true.

At first I wasn't sure about this one with a hospice nurse at the center of the story, but as the story progressed, I fell in love with her and her ability to prepare people for the end of their lives.  I came to respect the stress that she endured on the job dealing with both death and family members as they also prepare to say goodbye and THEN she went home to deal with her own personal dramas.  I couldn't imagine being about to do her job and also going home to even more stress.

I am definitely intrigued by this author and his ability to make me get interested in characters that I wasn't so sure about - the definition of great writing!  I am excited to read The Curiosity his previous work and what may come next.


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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