The Hummingbird (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
The Hummingbird Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews

With the empathy and compassion that we can expect from Kiernan, comes The Hummingbird. Deborah Birch is an experienced hospice nurse, her current patient an eccentric, rude, set-in-his-ways retired professor with a history that he refuses to share. She's up for the challenge. But her personal life is also in need of tender care. Her husband is home from his third deployment to Iraq. With each return he is a changed man, but this third return is the greatest change. He is not the man she married at all: tortured, closed off, resistant to her affection, flat out a different man. Deborah is willing to to stick by him, and help comes to her from a place she least expected: her hospice patient.
While Kiernan's The Curiosity certainly dealt with the ethical and moral issues that he is known for, this story is clearly one that Kiernan had close to his heart. The writing is compassion personified, the story is compelling and as hopeful as it is heartbreaking.

— From The Hummingbird, by Stephen Kiernan

September 2015 Indie Next List

“The Hummingbird is a powerful story about the critical role of human empathy in dealing with two important contemporary issues: hospice care and post-traumatic stress disorder. Kiernan's characters are well-drawn and give unique perspectives on death, trauma, and providing care in difficult times. The Hummingbird is a must-read for all who want to help loved ones die with dignity as well as for those helping veterans achieve normalcy after serving our country.”
— Phyllis K Spinale, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA


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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062369550
ISBN-10: 0062369555
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Publication Date: June 28th, 2016
Pages: 336
Language: English