The Hummingbird

The Hummingbird : A Novel

4.09 (2,343 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Description

From the author of the acclaimed The Curiosity comes a compelling and moving story of compassion, courage, and redemption.

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, Deborah's 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.

Told with piercing empathy and heartbreaking realism, The Hummingbird is a masterful story of loving commitment, service to country, and absolution through wisdom and forgiveness.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 162 x 236 x 27mm | 470g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0062369547
  • 9780062369543

Back cover copy

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 Tormented by nightmares, anxiety, and rage, Michael has become cold and withdrawn.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

"Stephen P. Kiernan's novel is a marvelous blend of sci-fi, romance, and the tug-of-war between science and ethics."--Parade on THE CURIOSITY
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About Stephen P Kiernan

Stephen P. Kiernan is a graduate of John Hopkins University and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Over his twenty years plus as a journalist he has won numerous awards, including the Brechner Center's Freedom of Information Award, the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment, and the George Polk Award. He is the author of The Curiosity, his first novel. He lives in Vermont with his two sons.
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Rating details

2,343 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 35% (820)
4 44% (1,032)
3 16% (385)
2 4% (87)
1 1% (19)
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