From the author of the acclaimed debut novel The Curiosity comes an emotionally resonant tale about a woman who must take care of two wounded men – one, her soldier-husband, just home from the war in Iraq; the other, a dying World War II scholar-historian who harbors a long-buried secret.
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.
So interesting to learn of history that you never knew existed and certainly was not in any US text books for high schoolers. Also as someone who suffers from PTSD, the vet’s challenges with his demons are very real to me. Overall one of my best reads this year. I would highly recommend.
This novel is hauntingly beautiful.