My Books For Your Reading Pleasure

My Books For Your Reading Pleasure
Proud Indie Author

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ellen and The Hummingtree -- a wonderful review by Phyllis Humby ...

The Write Read for a Wintry Afternoon

Easy for you to say, Steve baby. That’s my response to Stephen King’s famous quote – they’re all famous −“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” It's not always that simple.

My books have been gathering dust and creating stress. Yes, it stresses me out when everything seems to take precedence over reading. Anyway, today I finished a book that I couldn’t wait to receive in the mail – months ago − Ellen and the Hummingtree by Audrey Austin, a writer from Elliott Lake.

I had the good fortune to meet Audrey online and become acquainted with her writing. If memory serves correctly, I first noticed Audrey’s work on, a site that has featured my work as well.

Ellen and the Hummingtree is an interesting book about a woman of deep faith who has a unique coping mechanism. She speaks to God. Now, I know you will argue that many of us speak to God. But Ellen believes God lives inside a large yellow quartz rock in her backyard. Oh, and of course He speaks to her too. There’s a little hole in the top of the rock. Never mind, just read the book.

It is a collection of well-written stories that weave back and forth through the emotional circumstances of a woman’s life. These stories delve into her relationships as a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Oh, and cousin – I forgot about her cousin Marielle.

In my opinion – only my opinion – the theme of this book is fear. I know that some of you who are familiar with this book may harrumph at that statement but a book is very personal. It’s interpreted differently by each reader. That’s why I love talking to my first readers. I’m fascinated by the interpretation of my work. Each person sees something different or relates with a different character. I digress (as always).

Audrey’s character, Ellen, is on her own to raise two children. Fear. Her grandson, who has a learning disability, is bullied at school. Fear. God lives in a rock in her backyard. That would scare the crap out of me. (My attempt at humour – I’m sorry)

Ellen has many fears, as do we all. The fear of growing old and senile, the fear of having to give up a home to live in a facility. Then there is the ultimate fear. Of growing older and older and older, when all she wants is to re-unite with all the loved ones that have passed on. You do remember that I said this was strictly my opinion.

Near the end of the book there is a chapter I Need You to Remember Me. I remember reading that story, or at least an edited version, some time ago. Please tell me, Audrey, that this was a published short story at some point. If not, I had an incredible déjà vu moment. I liked the story the first time I read it – otherwise I never would have remembered it – and it will remain indelible in my mind.

The last chapter Time to Go Home is melancholy and poignant. I have witnessed death and thought about life after death. I appreciate Audrey Austin’s rendering. This chapter was a fitting ending to a thought provoking book with a unique approach.

Ellen and the Hummingtree by Audrey Austin; a good read for a wintry afternoon.


And visit her blog at   This link wil take you to Phyllis Humby's wonderful site.  Thank you, Phyllis :-)

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