Actually the title of Helen Deines’ first novel is: A DANCE WITH HUMMINGBIRDS: A Gift from the Other Side
Let’s start this off right. This is a book to cherish!
First off, I’m a Christian and rely on a set of truths laid out in the Bible. These Bible truths teach me how to conduct my life and from where I grow my faith. Having said that, I can spot a good novel when I see one. I’m not one of these Christians who are easily offended by fiction even when the fiction doesn’t align with Biblical truth. As an author myself and an educated reader, I know fact from fiction. Just as I know that vampires don’t exist and that even a story about real people in a non-fantasy setting who are placed inside a novel, don’t really exist either. And, how do I know this? Because a novel (by its very nature) is fiction.
So, why am I stating all of this as a precursor to a book review of this HUMMINGBIRDS novel? Because this novel deals with a different sort of afterlife we Christians learn about in the Bible. HUMMINGBIRDS deals with an afterlife relegated to a couple of whom the husband has died, an afterlife dictated by the eccentricities of St. Brigit (a patron saint of Ireland), an afterlife swirling in druid lore, and an afterlife where the dead get a good chance to become reincarnated.
My Christian sensibilities are not offended. And why? Because this is a novel—a sweet and tender novel about love, death and missing someone to the point of exhaustion. To the point that the protagonist, Regina begins to speak to her dead husband, Elliott.
HUMMINGBIRDS is a short novel and I wished things from it things that were not answered, but! That’s not a demerit, that’s just me, a reader who wanted to stay with the characters long after I read the words “The End”—possibly the saddest part of the book because I had to stop reading. As a novelist, I know that not all of the story can be told but what is told in HUMMINBIRDS is treasurable.
I don’t often look forward to reading a story as much as I have HUMMINGBIRDS. And as I worked through my day I would give longing glances at HUMMINGBIRDS as it sat waiting for me to pick it up from the table once again. I, also, don’t often read books for review but every 100th story (or so) that a publicist sends my way gets a yes out of me. And out of those I say yes to, I only fully read very few. HUMMINGBIRDS is one of those select novels you will read to the last period and one you should not pass on.
During the earliest parts of the novel, I kept my (very much alive) husband awake at night by laughing, snorting and jiggling the bed as I tried not to laugh out loud. And, by the end? I was wiping away tears. I keep asking myself, “What good thing did I ever do that I deserve such a great job, one that people send me books to read?” After reading HUMMINGBIRDS by debut author Helen Deines, I can only say, tongue-in-cheek of course, “Only St. Brigit knows!”
Thank you Ms. Deines for the lovely time away from reality. You made me laugh and cry and fall in love with your story, its characters and your writing. What a treasure you’ll find when you read A DANCE WITH HUMMINGBIRDS by Helen Deines.
ABOUT AUTHOR HELEN DEINES
A Dance with Hummingbirds is the first in a planned trilogy. Author Helen Deines says, “Hummingbirds is my story. Much of it happened. Some of it could have happened and the rest of it should have happened.” Helen has spent 25 years of her life working with the elderly. She lives near Providence, Rhode Island.
You can find Helen Deines at www.helendeines.com.
You can also find my books here within the pages of this website. I hope you enjoy those as well. ~Susan.
TRIPLE BOOK AWARD-WINNER “The Deer Effect” is available in all formats and through all major book distributors.