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Hummingbird House

Author: Henley, Patricia Set In . . .
 Central America, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico
Genre: Fiction
Time Frame: 1980s
Published: 2000
Description: Kate Banner, an American midwife, heads to Mexico for a three-week visit in the mid-1980s and ends up staying south of the border for eight years. From Mexico she travels first to Nicaragua and then to Guatemala, two nations torn by revolution and sunk in horrific poverty and violence. Along the way, she delivers babies, administers what first aid she can, and becomes involved with a group of activists, most of them from North America. The novel opens in the midst of a hurricane, during which a young pregnant woman goes into labor in a rowboat. Kate successfully delivers the child, but the mother dies soon afterwards. It is this event that starts the wandering midwife thinking about going home at last. When a longtime love affair with an American arms supplier to the
Sandinistas goes south, Kate heads to Guatemala where friends have a house for a little rest and some thinking time. All thoughts of Indiana are banished, however, when she meets her fellow lodger, Father Dixie Ryan, a priest who is struggling with his vocation. The two become lovers and decide to open Hummingbird House, a clinic and school for Guatemalan children. Unfortunately, even the best intentions can go disastrously awry, and Kate must experience terrible loss before she can find eventual salvation.
  
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