The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce
Doubleday (hardback), 2014
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
From the author of the 2 million+ copy, worldwide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, an exquisite, funny and heartrending parallel story.
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.
Told in simple, emotionally-honest prose, with a mischievous bite, this is a novel about the journey we all must take to learn who we are; it is about loving and letting go. And most of all it is about finding joy in unexpected places and at times we least expect.
This may come to you as some surprise. I know it is a long time since we last met, but recently I have been thinking a lot about the past.
WHAT I THOUGHT
I’m quite a fan of Rachel Joyce and have read and really enjoyed all of her other novels.
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy was a brilliant, lovely book. It’s a bit sappier than the stuff I usually read but change can be a good thing. This is supposed to be a companion piece to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I don’t see it as that. There are a few references to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry but for the most part this is Queenie’s story, the final words of a dying woman unleashing all of her secrets. I found this book heartbreaking at times as I read about Queenie and Harold’s friendship, her true feelings and the unsuspecting part she played in tragic events. I got all teared up more than once.
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy is lovely, warm and heart-wrenching. Highly recommended for anyone who wants their heartstrings tugged.