Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

The Love Song of 
Miss Queenie Hennessy
A Novel
By Rachel Joyce

Hardcover, 352 pages

I read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry two years ago and, like the rest of the world, fell instantly and permanently in love.

The book cemented Rachel Joyce as a must-read author and one of the first on my favourites list.

Now we are given the gift of a companion book to the original novel. Not a prequel or a sequel - but a look into Queenie's life and perspective as she waits for Harold and his incredible journey.

We learn so much about this special woman, and remember so much about the first book - not with parallels but with snips and snatches that are remembered in such a different way by this teller.

It is profound how we can touch each other's lives. Near misses, words not said, things forgotten or unnoticed. Guilt, love, sadness, joy. Redemption.

A beautiful book.

From the Back Flap:

When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note had explained she was dying. How can she wait?

A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write again; only this time she must tell Harold everything. In confessing to secrets she has hidden for twenty years, she will find atonement for the past. As the volunteer points out, 'Even though you've done your travelling, you're starting a new journey too.'

Queenie thought her first letter would be the end of the story. She was wrong. It was the beginning.

Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce is the author of the international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. She is also the award-winning writer of more than twenty plays for BBC Radio 4. She started writing after a twenty-year acting career, in which she performed leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company and won multiple awards. Rachel Joyce lives with her family on a Gloucestershire farm.