On Hummingbird Wings

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On Hummingbird Wings

A Novel

Gillian Ormsby has spent the last twenty five years devoted to her career in New York. When she receives a call from her younger sister, Allie, informing her their mother has taken to her bed Gillian's reply "But Mother is always dying," doesn't stop her from having to go home. Gillian arrives in California to discover her mother's prized yard and garden dead, the blinds closed and no one to answer the door. Breaking into her mother's house wasn't a part of Gillian's plans. Neither was being questioned by the handsome son of her mother's neighbor. When Gillian finally gets inside her mother's house - she finds her mother laying in bed and waiting to die. Fortunately when Gillian speaks with her mother's doctor, he confirms there's no medical reason for her mother's emotional state. As Gillian worries about who she can trust to care for her mother, since Allie has decided she's much too busy to help, she discovers the company she works for has been a part of a hostile takeover and she's left without a job. Suddenly she finds she has the time to take care of her mom.

Determined to restore her mother's health, Gillian insists her mother get out of bed, shower, eat, exercise and hopefully change her mind about dying. She also begins working in the garden to restore it to its former glory with the help of Adam Bentley, the neighbor's son, who owns a family gardening business with his dad. When a pair of hummingbirds appears, Gillian is delighted with the birds and with her growing friendship with Adam. As she continues pushing her mother towards improved health, and her mother's friends begin to visit, Gillian feels her efforts are paying off. When her mother announces she's going on a cruise with her friend Enzio and leaves, Gillian is left behind wondering what she's going to do with the rest of her own life.

On Hummingbird Wings by Lauraine Snelling is a heartwarming and thought provoking look at a fortyish woman's reflection on life and her choices. I was completely captivated by Ms. Snelling's storytelling and with the characters she created. It really made me think about the choices we make daily, the sacrifices they might require and our ability to start over.

Gillian Ormsby is a great character; she's in her mid forties, still in great shape and attractive. She's also dedicated all of her life to her career. At the start of the story, she's on a deadline when her sister calls to talk about their mother and her claims of dying. Gillian really doesn't want to deal with her mother, they've never gotten along. She does realize though that she hasn't been home in a long time, five years in fact. She takes the red-eye to California to deal with her over the top mother and sister and plans to return to New York in a couple of days. She's given up a lot to get where she is and she's looking forward to an early retirement and the start to her own life. I really liked how Ms. Snelling pointed out that to get to the top; Gillian gave up a lot, her family in California and the chance for love and a family of her own.

When Gillian arrives home and realizes the situation is as dire as her sister threatened, she's angry about her sister's inability to handle things and takes charge. Only things aren't as easy to take care of as Gillian expects; everything takes time - something she doesn't think she has, until she discovers her job has suddenly ended and she's not unemployed. Deciding to use her time off, there's the possibility her previous boss will find a job for them both when he comes back from his month long vacation, Gillian begins taking care of her mom and restoring her mother's garden. As both neighbors and friends of her mother help Gillian get things back on track, she realizes she not only left behind her family, she'd also left her faith in God lapse. She begins to wonder when that happened.

While Gillian is the focus of the story, the secondary characters are really important. From Gillian's mother, who is somewhat difficult at first but improves greatly when she realizes she's loved, to Adam Bentley, the neighbor's son, who helps Gillian with her mother and the garden, and becomes more important to Gillian when they begin to date and fall in love. Throughout the story, Ms. Snelling, weaves parts of Gillian's rediscovery of her faith and her reconnection to her family. Gillian grows both inside and out and soon she's more comfortable with the life she's living in California than with the life she left in New York.

Will Gillian decide to stay in California with her family and new friends when a job opportunity in New York opens up? Will Adam be willing to accept whatever decision Gillian makes, even if it requires a long distance relationship or his relocation? And will Gillian's slow path back to her faith in God and her trust for his direction in her life be a part of her future? Read On Hummingbird Wings, I highly recommend it.

Book Blurb for On Hummingbird Wings

"But Mother is always dying," is Gillian Ormsby's sarcastic response when her younger, favored sister tells her that she has to go take care of their hypochondriac mother. Much against her will, since she and her mother never have gotten along, Gillian arrives in California to find the garden and yard dead, the blinds all drawn, and her mother indeed in bed--waiting to die. But when Gillian talks with the doctor, he assures her there's no medical reason behind her mother's state.

Now on a mission to restore her mother to health, Gillian insists Mother get out of bed, eat, exercise and hopefully, choose to live. She also sets about reviving the garden to its former glory, enlisting the help of Adam, a handsome man who owns a family gardening business with his father. Gillian is delighted when a pair of hummingbirds appear, and her friendship with Adam grows.

Soon, Mother's health improves, and one day she announces she and her friend Enzio are going on a cruise. Before Gillian has time to turn around, her mother is gone and she is left high and dry again, and wondering, what is she going to do with the rest of her own life?

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2011 5.00