Blog tour: Only Hummingbirds Fly Backwards

Welcome to the blog tour for Only Hummingbirds Fly Backwards by Rosie Parker!

More about the book…

Ronnie and Jake are twins – obviously not identical, but close as. They even have that twin intuition thing going on. Ronnie lives with her soon-to-be husband Gerry and new-born baby, and Jake is happily married with two daughters. One sunny April day, he hops onto somebody else’s motorbike to ride home when a horrific crash leaves him lying brain injured on the road. On hearing the news Ronnie rushes to Jake’s bedside. Having once been a physiotherapist, she knows it’s bad, and her life threatens to crack apart as she begs him to return to her.

Fifteen months later, it’s suggested by Jake’s wife that the two families go away to Brittany, France, on holiday. But surely, it’s too soon, thinks Ronnie. The tensions and events which follow threaten to rock both Ronnie’s marriage and her relationship with her sister-in-law, as she tries to reach Jake. And when secrets from their past begin to surface, will Ronnie seek comfort from another man?

At the heart of it all is Jake, who is more than her brother, he is her twin. Once they floated side by side in their mother’s womb. Can Ronnie somehow remind him of the person he once was, or is he changed forever?

The world turns with or without them, a butterfly flaps its wings, and only hummingbirds fly backwards.

More about the author…

Rosie Parker had a portfolio career including physiotherapy, medical rehabilitation and disability research, before returning to her first love, creative writing. She now has an MA in Creative Writing and is a tutor in Creative Writing at The Open University. A spoken word performer and novelist, Rosie writes in her blue shed on a hill overlooking the Bristol Channel. Rosie Parker identifies as a disabled author living with Hypermobile-Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and this is her debut novel.

Rosie says, “This book had its genesis back in 1988 when my own brother had a motorbike accident leaving him brain damaged. Even though I’d been a physiotherapist, nothing prepared me for the reality. Although based on my notes and journals at the time, this is a piece of fiction I wanted to write from a sister’s perspective, as we’re often the family members who are left out. I wanted to convey how one has to find a way to cope with brain injury when there’s nothing to compare. The person is not dead, so there is no closure – at times it’s like an open emotional wound. My aim is for this book to be a celebration of love and the human spirit. I hope it has warmth and is full of human failings and triumphs and foibles and mistakes. It’s one about forgiveness, too – and always about love.

My impressions…

My attention was immediately captured by the title of this debut novel and it was deftly held throughout the pages by the beautiful writing style of the author. I do enjoy a story narrated from multiple viewpoints, and this is very well executed here, giving the reader a more in-depth understanding of the feelings at play. Grief is a difficult subject so it takes a lot of skill to convey in a sensitive way.

Three words to describe it. Beautiful. Delicate. Emotional.

Do I like the cover? Yes, its simplicity is stunning.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, this is the author’s debut. Hopefully, the first novel of a long and successful career.


  1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful review of my novel. It means a lot to me that you enjoyed reading it. I hope others will, too. Rosie Parker xx

  2. Thanks for the blog tour support x


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