The Hummingbird Kiss
My Life as an Addict in the 1970s
by Trish MacEnulty
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Pub Date 13 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 19 Jan 2024
Trish spends her time hustling and cheating to score. Heroin, Dilauids, whatever she can get.
Precisely plotting the slippery slope of a heroin addict's existence, The Hummingbird Kiss paints a bleak picture but still manages to offer a ray of hope. The '70s are young, and 18-year-old Trish is a newlywed. When a Florida judge sentences her junkie husband to ten years for stealing stereos, she immediately seeks out a fix, and before she knows it she's hooked. There follows a long sojourn as she and her friends work small scams to score, head to California in search of better highs, move back to Florida, shoot up and nod off every chance they get — until death gets some of them.
MacEnulty has constructed a gritty and sorrowful book about a young girl with an appetite for the damage done. Trish comes from a broken but still functional family. She's witty, articulate and street-smart enough to know better than to get caught up in this life of self destruction, but childhood abandonment and the ensuing self-loathing are too much for her to manage without medication. Her life unravels as her cross-country wanderings take her from drug dens to rehabs to prison, with a few bleary-eyed months spent scoring drugs in the Tijuana barrios.
The author spares us no detail of her sordid descent, but Trish remains an engaging voice whose innate grain of goodness and interest in humanity keeps the reader on her side. Trish declines to blame anyone for her calamitous state. All she wants is the "hummingbird kiss of the needle" — the most wonderful experience she knows — until she inevitably winds up in prison and rediscovers the girl she once was.
"Searingly honest, often funny, always sordid story of a junkie’s life in the 1970s."—Chauncey Mabe, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
Average rating from 11 members
How to describe my experience listening to this audiobook? I want to say I was completely hooked, and it’s true, but probably in bad taste.
I was enthralled by this audiobook, from start to finish. The narrator does an excellent job, I felt like I was right there with Trish as she went through every hit and every heist. It’s compulsive listening, harrowing in parts but uplifting and inspiring. I
would definitely recommend it, particularly if you enjoyed Melvin Burgess’ Junk. I am sad to leave Trish’s story behind.
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to review an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSpcial Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook ARC!
The Hummingbird Kiss is a raw and sometimes brutal memoir, but also very human and compelling. As a pharmacist, I see people working to overcome addiction on a regular basis. And I'm sure that I have patients that are in the midst of addiction as well. I think there is nothing more human than struggling to overcome something that you know you shouldn't want to do. This book increased my already firm belief that we all have the potential to make our lives better if we really want to.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this eARC.
An amazingly powerful true story about someone riding the extreme highs (and navigating the devastating lows) of heroin addiction.
A fascinating account of a young woman who repeatedly chose the oblivion of drugs rather than feeling her own pain.
Luckily, for her readers, this same strong woman ultimately choose life, and eventually succeeded in prying loose the deep-seated claws of addiction which seemed almost rooted in her very soul.
Review: An engaging listen about the author’s life. Majority is centered around drug use and her time in prison. Very raw and real and informative. You can feel what it may have been like to be her.
Recommended For: Those who like memoirs.
This is an interesting look into a 1970's life of addiction. Even though it feels like MacEnulty didn't hit 'rock bottom', well what we would probably perceive as rock bottom, she puts herself in a lot of ill-advised situations and gets caught in a bit of a spiral. This is an interesting read and ultimately has a happy ending.
I picked up this auto-biography as an audio book. For all I realise Trish (now) is a very talented author, 1970 Trish, as clever and sharp witted as she was, made some very questionable life choices. This is not my usual genre, but I’ve read and enjoyed some of Trish’s fiction novels and wanted to find out more about her as a person beyond just being an author’s name. I think in this book she has given us a glimpse of the escapism, and crutch, that drugs brought her during her late teen years. I’m glad she made it through, many don’t. The narrator of this audio version is superb. Thank you to BooksGoSocial Audio and NetGalley for the audio ARC. The views expressed are all mine, freely given.
Jesus but Trish MacEnulty has been to hell and back with her addiction which she has written about so beautifully here in The Hummingbird Kiss (I had no idea what the title meant, did you?)
Trish is dope sick when we first meet her sending her husband off to jail in the courthouse. We then follow her through her highs and lows of severe addiction, withdrawal the hustles the robberies a prison sentence, friends lost and multiple rehab stints and her desperate attempts at taking anything that’ll help her escape herself. I was fully immersed in the depths of despair as I listened to her words, it’s a sad gritty tale of a girl with all the smarts yet a lack of love for herself that leads to destruction,I listened to Trish tell of the loss of herself and willing her on all the way. I realised how easily any one of us could fall into that hole and perhaps not make it back out. It’s such a joy to know that Trish broke free that addiction finally at the age of 25 life really begun for her. She went on to become a professor and author and I’m really keen to read more from her. The narration fitted and complimented the writing beautifully. An easy 5 star 🌟 for a stunning memoir.
Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial Audio for the opportunity to listen to this Audiobook in return for an honest review.
The Hummingbird Kiss: My Life as a Junkie in the 1970s by Trish MacEnulty
An inspirational, positive and fantastically written story.
Back to 70s, when Trish was 18, she was addictive to drug. She shared how her life had been changing upside down. How honest she was to her life. How positive was she now to throwback to her past.
The journey she came through was everyone’s must read. Not only to remind ourselves, but to embrace the fault that others had made.