The Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan
Book Review – 5 star rating
I have to admit that it was the title that first drew me to this book as I love anything at all to do with hummingbirds. Although there was only a slight reference to the meaning of the title in the book, this gorgeous novel did not disappoint in any way.
There are actually three stories in this book. The first deals with a very caring hospice worker, Deborah Birch, and her work with a patient, Barclay Reed, who is a professor and expert on the Pacific Theater of World War II. Deborah is assigned the tough cases and Professor Reed is certainly a tough nut to crack. Their developing relationship and journey toward the end of Professor Reed’s life is a beautiful and emotional one. The gift Deborah receives in return for her loving care is indeed a priceless one.
The second story deals with Deborah’s husband, Michael. He’s a severely damaged war veteran dealing with the memories of the atrocities that he’s encountered and the ghosts that haunt him. Their story will break your heart as her husband struggles to heal and they try to piece their marriage back together.
The third story is an extraordinary one about a World War II Japanese pilot who fire bombs a forest in the US and his journey towards redemption and forgiveness. It’s one that you won’t soon forget and I found it to be a very powerful lesson.
I’ve read a few reviews saying that this book is sappy. I don’t like sappy books and didn’t find this one to be sappy at all. I thought it was beautifully written, moving, touching and emotional with strong insight into the human soul. The author has a true heart of a poet. I can’t wait to read his first novel, “The Curiosity”, although it sounds like a very different type of book.
I won an ARC of this book through The Reading Room with the request that I give an honest review.