Ellen is a woman I came to know well during the writing of my third novel Ellen and The Hummingtree. She often puzzled me yet she also had the ability to make me laugh and cry. I grew to love her. And the more I came to know her I began to realize that she truly is a composite of the many caring spiritual women I have known throughout my life. Alzheimer is a dreadful disease and Ellen's victimization is a heartbreak. My writing of Ellen and The Hummingtree comes straight from the heart. I hope you will love her as I do.
Some reviews of Ellen and The Hummingtree:
A GOOD read!
By susan on January 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A very relatable story with an unusual twist, the connection Ellen has with others both visible and invisible is a journey into sometimes comical, sometimes intensely personal and sometimes very real and ordinary. It's an enjoyable read that left me more familiar with my own beliefs and hopes.
The Write Read for a Wintry Afternoon
By Phyllis Humby on February 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
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 Commuterlit.com, 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.
Ellen and the Hummingtree
By celticfrogreviews on February 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Ellen and the Hummingtree is the story of Ellen and a rock through which she speaks to God. The rock moves with her as she lives her life. Ellen doesn't have an easy life, but the rock encourages her and gives her courage. Through Ellen we meet her family and close friends, and especially the voice of God that whispers to her through the chunk of yellow quartz.
Ellen is very human with her share of flaws. The story is as much about her learning to accept those flaws in herself and others as anything else. She grows substantially by the close of the book. There are times when I wanted to give her a good talking to, and other times when she shows grace and humility.
Audrey has created a memorable character in Ellen. She is very well portrayed and has a wonderful complexity. The story moves back and forth in time as Ellen explores her life. The important movement isn't chronological but her development of love and faith through the rock in her garden.
I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it for those who like strong women characters.
Available on all Amazon sites. Visit my author page at http://www.amazon.com/author/audreyaustin