From the best-selling 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 best seller, 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 good-bye. 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.
Editors Select, March 2015 - As a huge Rachel Joyce fan, I was so excited to listen to her next book, but I wasn't sure I wanted to hear Queenie's side of the story. I knew it would be heart wrenching, but also it had remained a sort of lovely, mysterious foil to Harold's grueling journey. So I was surprised to find that there was so much richness up at Queenie's end. As in her other books, Joyce captures a diverse and widely representative sliver of humanity that almost feels reckless, and some of the most satisfying parts of the book come as she identifies those moment of levity and abandon that might come at the closing of life. The marvelous British actress Celia Imrie captures all the myriad personalities that people the home, breathing life into so many people with very little of it left. Emily, Audible Editor
"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)
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In Many Ways Beautiful, In Many Ways Tedious
Not for the faint of heart