The Hummingbird: A Novel (Paperback)

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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


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.

Praise For…

“This many-faceted, thought-provoking story prompts soul-searching about life, war, and death.”

“Remarkably touching, insightful and timely… bridges several powerful stories of life and death that explore the cost of courage and the true meaning of heroism… Illuminating, uplifting and ultimately redemptive.”

The Hummingbird is a novel that shares its unexpected gifts and teaches us that surrender is a part of love, and that giving away our weapons is the first step to peace.”

“Evocative and insightful . . . a wise and transformative novel that is psychologically astute and written in beautifully paced, expressive, and understated prose that is all the more poignant for its simplicity.”

“Stephen Kiernan writes with surefooted mastery and patience. ...What thrilled me about The Hummingbird is that I learned again that sometimes an unbridgeable chasm can be crossed by a leap of the imagination.”

Praise for The Curiosity: “[THE CURIOSITY] poses provocative questions about life and humanity.”

““[A]mbitious . . . an emotionally satisfying and brisk narrative . . . [T]his is a gripping novel with a clever conceit.”

“I absolutely loved THE CURIOSITY. It’s as thought-provoking and powerful as FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON and the writing is breathtakingly beautiful. And that ending? Poignant, luminescent, and absolutely perfect.”

“If you want your beach read to deliver some goose bumps, snag Stephen P. Kiernan’s The Curiosity. In this romantic thriller, a man who’s been buried in Arctic ice for over a century is reanimated, with shocking results.”

“One of the year’s great delights. . . . [A] beautifully made first work of fiction.”

“Stephen P. Kiernan’s novel is a marvelous blend of sci-fi, romance, and the tug-of-war between science and ethics.”

“Summer is dominated with thrilling books, but if you prefer yours more measured, more touching and decidedly more thought-provoking, this one may satisfy your curiosity.”

“Stephen P. Kiernan’s The Curiosity is a true page-turner, mixing cutting edge science with an all-too-human love story, while simultaneously taking on the Big Questions. It’s one of the most assured debuts in years, a book that will stop your heart and start it again.”

“[A] smart, heady, and irresistable science thriller....Kiernan gets every element right in teh breakneck, entertaining and thought-provoking taleabout time, mortality, the ethics of science, and the meaning of life.”

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