The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

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The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

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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. RACHEL JOYCE'S NEW NOVEL MAUREEN FRY AND THE ANGEL OF THE NORTH - THE FINAL PART OF THE HAROLD FRY TRILOGY - IS PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2022 Read more Look Inside Details Starred Review. [A] beguiling follow-up ... In telling Queenie's side of the story, Joyce accomplishes the rare feat of endowing her continuing narrative with as much pathos and warmth, wisdom and poignancy as her debut. Harold was beloved by millions; Queenie will be, too." - Booklist

Queenie created her sea garden “to atone for the terrible wrong I had done to a man I loved.” She writes, “Sometimes you have to do something with your pain because otherwise it will swallow you.” Do you feel she shared any blame in David’s suicide? Do you think she should have carried this burden for twenty years? Life is different for me at the hospice. The colors, the smells, the way a day passes. But I close my eyes and I pretend that the heat of the radiator is the sun on my hands and the smell of lunch is salt in the air. I hear the patients cough, and it is only the wind in my garden by the sea. I can imagine all sorts of things, Harold, if I put my mind to it.


In the first book Queenie Hennessy sends a letter to Harold after she is told she has days to live. She was his former secretary. It is a letter that inspires Harold, married but inert in his retirement, to begin a journey on foot across England to reach her. I’m a nurse, and was a hospice volunteer for many years, plus both my parents passed away in hospice. Did I buy into any of the hospice scenes? Nope! There is no “life and joy” in hospice.

Kudos, Madam Joyce, for another great piece. I hope others take as much away from this piece as I did. I’ll be sure to look for more of your work soon. Queenie knows Harold is on his way to visit her, and she realizes she must confront the past she quietly left behind twenty years ago. When Harold and Queenie finally meet at the end, Queenie says, “See me, Harold, I said. And you did. You looked and looked and you saw me.” Were you waiting and hoping for them to have this moment together? Did you feel fulfilled byit?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 ... This is a wonderful book about loss, redemption and joy – and I give it my own prize. Bel Mooney, The Daily Mail The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy is a sweet, at times laugh aloud funny novel which is the parallel book to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. As Queenie writes her thoughts in her notebook, we learn the depth of her feeling for Harold; the story of her years working with him, and of her regrets. But I was a little disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected – certainly as much as friends have; I felt it was drawn out and tedious in places. I certainly enjoyed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry more, but would still recommend this one to others.

As one who has spent more time sitting than moving in recent months, this is so relate-able for me. Joyce has captured this so well. And the following moment of extreme restlessness, whether from physical or emotional discomfort--also is captured so well, so simply. It was not good timing. I was twenty thousand words into a new book. I was also working on a radio piece. The last thing I needed was to start writing something else. But then there I was in the kitchen with my children when Queenie’s story arrived. It was one of those ideas that come in a flash, but fully dressed, so that you feel they’ve been around a long time. I told my children because it was so exciting, this idea, I couldn’t keep it to myself. And my children said something along the lines of “Yes, very good. Now, what’s for lunch?” Joyce has a wonderfully evocative turn of phrase and like her other books this is a delightful read... . Queenie is an uplifting and moving companion to Harold." - Daily Express Sister Lucy, who is the youngest nun volunteering in the hospice, asked if anyone would like to help with her new jigsaw. Nobody answered. “Scrabble?” she said. When news of Harold Fry’s pilgrimage spreads throughout the hospice, so does a new atmosphere of hope. A banner is constructed and a special corner set up for Harold Fry’s postcards and to pin up any news of his pilgrimage. It becomes a great occasion any time a postcard arrives and everyone becomes part of the excitement.


Do you like sex and travel, Miss Hennessy?’ At last. An interview, albeit unconventional. I blushed, but I wasn’t going to be bullied. I do, actually’” The author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry hits a darker but no less compelling note ... However, the book is not without its own pleasurable uplift: a spiritual wind beneath its wings … perhaps it adds necessary ballast to the sparkling balloon of Harold's journey – and it will certainly find a grateful readership. The Guardian Queenie is in a hospice spending her last days writing a letter to a man she worked with at a brewery in an English town . At the same time, that man , Harold Fry is on a walking journey to see her before she dies . We learn so much about Queenie in her letter - about her childhood, her days at the university where she studied the classics , her losses , her time working with Harold and how she spent her days after leaving , living in a beach house and tending her beloved sea garden.

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