The Hummingbird, by Stephen Kiernan

Reviewed by: 
Rachel F.
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The Hummingbird: A Novel By Stephen P. Kiernan Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062369550
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 28th, 2016

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.