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The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessyby Rachel Joyce
Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry comes an exquisite love story about Queenie Hennessy, the remarkable friend who inspired Harold’s cross-country journey.
A runaway international bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry followed its unassuming hero on an incredible journey as he traveled the length of England on foot—a journey spurred by a simple letter from his old friend Queenie Hennessy, writing from a hospice to say goodbye. Harold believed that as long as he kept walking, Queenie would live. What he didn’t know was that his decision to walk had caused her both alarm and fear. How could she wait? What would she say? Forced to confront the past, Queenie realizes she must write again.
In this poignant parallel story to Harold’s saga, acclaimed author Rachel Joyce brings Queenie Hennessy’s voice into sharp focus. Setting pen to paper, Queenie makes a journey of her own, a journey that is even bigger than Harold’s; one word after another, she promises to confess long-buried truths—about her modest childhood, her studies at Oxford, the heartbreak that brought her to Kingsbridge and to loving Harold, her friendship with his son, the solace she has found in a garden by the sea. And, finally, the devastating secret she has kept from Harold for all these years.
A wise, tender, layered novel that gathers tremendous emotional force, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy underscores the resilience of the human spirit, beautifully illuminating the small yet pivotal moments that can change a person’s life.
Praise for The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
“If you enjoyed Harold’s odyssey, you will adore this book. A page into this tender tale and it is clearly the perfect companion piece to the original story of Harold Fry. . . . Rachel Joyce fleshes out the joyous woman who inspired his epic journey.”—Daily Express
“A beautiful story which will grip you, make you laugh and cry, uplift your spirit and leave you feeling profoundly grateful and changed by the reading experience . . . a wonderful book about loss, redemption and joy.”—Daily Mail
“Touching . . . [a] quiet, gentle, moving novel . . . Joyce’s writing . . . has a simplicity that sings. She captures hope best of all.”—The Observer
Praise for Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
“[A] gorgeously poignant novel of hope and transformation.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Joyce’s beguiling debut is [a] modest-seeming story of ‘ordinary’ English lives that enthralls and moves you as it unfolds.”—People (four stars)
“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is not just a book about lost love. It is about all the wonderful everyday things Harold discovers through the mere process of putting one foot in front of the other.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Joyce's bestselling novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, followed the journey of Harold, a retiree who chose to walk the entire length of England to reunite with an old friend. This novel focuses on the old friend in question: Queenie Hennessy, who's dying of cancer in a hospice in northern England. When she receives word that Harold's begun walking the 600 miles to see her, Queenie's apprehensive: they haven't seen each other in 20 years. As she begins to write in a long letter to Harold, readers see that their unorthodox friendship was far more complicated than Harold may think. Through Queenie's flashbacks, we see the beginnings of their friendship when they met as coworkers at the local brewery. We also learn new information about Queenie's secret friendship with Harold's teen son, David; the circumstances around David's tragic early death; and Queenie's long-hidden feelings for Harold. In the present day, Queenie's fellow patients in the hospice also take up the mantle of waiting for Harold, and some poignant and hilarious new bonds form. Fans of Harold's story will appreciate a chance to meet him again and hear his story from a new angle, and after a slow and slightly confusing start, even newcomers to Queenie and Harold's doomed love story will not be immune to its charms. A bittersweet final twist is a fitting cap to a tragic, touching tale. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Rachel Joyce is the author of the international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Perfect. 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.
From the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Perfect comes an exquisite love story about Queenie Hennessy, the remarkable friend who inspired Harold Fry’s incredible journey.
About the Author
Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Perfect. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was short-listed for the Commonwealth Book Prize and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and has been translated into thirty-six languages. Rachel Joyce was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards New Writer of the Year in December 2012. She is also the author of the digital short story A Faraway Smell of Lemon and is the award-winning writer of over thirty original afternoon plays and classic adaptations for BBC Radio 4. Rachel Joyce lives with her family in Gloucestershire.
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