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Doctors have no medical explanation why Gillian Ormsby’s mother can’t eat or get out of bed, but something has caused the once-spirited woman to give up her will to live. Despite their difficult relationship and an equally strained relationship with her sister, who lives in California near their mother, Gillian flies home and attempts to get their mother back on her feet.

While home, Gillian restores her mother’s neglected garden. There two hummingbirds take up residence and preside over the new relationship forming between Gillian and Adam, a neighbour and the local garden center owner. Although her goal is to return to her job in New York, Gillian begins to wonder if she can find a compromise between career, family and love.

As a pastor’s wife, I have seen those who have struggled daily to get out of bed. Depression is not a simple illness and neither is the cure. I was eager to read On Hummingbird Wings by Lauraine Snelling to see how a daughter would deal with her mother’s depression and all of the emotions that accompany it. While I understand that this book is a work of fiction, I was disappointed in how quickly and easily Gillian’s mother overcame her depression. I was not expecting a textbook on family support and cures, but the “snap your fingers” solution that was presented did not do justice to her symptoms or her struggle.

Despite this, I found On Hummingbird Wings a good read. It had all the “right stuff” to make it a great summer book for the beach or the back deck. The developing relationship between Gillian and Adam moved along at a good pace for characters of their age and life experience. The classic sibling rivalry between Gillian and her sister was interesting to follow, although I felt there were things that were left unresolved that still have me puzzled.

On Hummingbird Wings has a wonderful website: http://www.onhummingbirdwings.com that includes gardening tips for attracting hummingbirds to your garden, instructions on feeding hummingbirds, and a yummy-looking recipe for hummingbird cake. (No hummingbirds were harmed in the making of this cake but the same cannot be said for the pineapple and banana.) There are also garden- and hummingbird-themed e-cards and tips for helping the seniors in your life maintain their vibrancy.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5.

I received this book free from Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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