The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
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.
"A warm, thoughtful tale about love, regret and redemption. . . . this lovely book is full of joy. . . . an ode to messy, imperfect, glorious, unsung humanity. . . . Thank you, Rachel Joyce."
—The Washington Post
“Joyce’s follow-up is equally charming and sure to delight. . . . Joyce’s characters are so endearing, you can’t help but fall in love with them, and it’s impossible not to be moved as Queenie sorts through her life’s memories—her sorrows and pleasures—deciding what to tell Harold. Unpredictably, the hospice setting offers many sweet and laugh-out-loud moments . . . Queenie may be near the end, but her world is alive with faith and hope.”
“[The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy] is a moving tale of loneliness, loss and acceptance. . . . [with] an affectionate warmth and humour in the prose.” ―Reuters
“Exquisite, funny and heartrending.”
—The Telegraph (UK)
“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. . . . Joyce gives us the woman who inspired Harold and his unlikely pilgrimage and, just like Harold, it is hard not to fall in love with her too.” —The Daily Express (UK)
“If you loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, you’ll be thrilled with this sequel.”
—Fabulous Magazine (UK)
“A warm companion to its predecessor, probing the world of the dying and the relief that kind gestures can bring to otherwise solitary journeys.”
—Financial Times (UK)
“We’re treated to the hilarious black humour and lump-in-the-throat poignancy of day-to-day life amongst the motley cast of Queenie’s fellow doomed hospice patients. . . . It will be a hard-hearted reader who can finish it without tears.”
—Daily Mail (UK)
“Joyce has an evocative turn of phrase and like her other books this is a delightful read. . . . [She] has been praised for her ability to convey complicated meanings in simple terms. This gift is on display again here. . . . Queenie is an uplifting and moving companion to Harold.”
—The Daily Express (UK)
“[A] funny, emotional story.”
“An extraordinarily touching portrait both of what it’s like in a hospice . . . and of Queenie’s determination to explain herself before it’s too late. Her contemplation of the past also adds up to an almost defiant celebration of ordinary life as most of us live it.”
“Within the world of Harold Fry and Miss Queenie Hennessy . . . layer after layer of joint history is exposed gently, quietly, and gracefully. . . . I’ve often found myself wistfully wishing for another glimpse into Harold and Queenie’s world.”
“[A] haunting story. . . . Invest in a box of Kleenex before you start this tear-jerker.”
—Woman and Home
“[There are] some gently comic moments and pitch-perfect black humour that Joyce writes so well.” —The Independent (UK)
“[The Love Song] is not without its own pleasurable uplift: a spiritual wind beneath its wings. Harold's pilgrimage creates an atmosphere of fun and joy. . . . It will certainly find a grateful readership.”
—The Guardian (UK)
“The poignant testament skips . . . from the increasingly tragic past to the unexpectedly light present. . . . The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy ends with a flourishing double twist that will leave you wide-eyed and wanting to go back and read it all again. And why not, because a second reading will bring out the subtler colours of this quietly wondrous book. Read it for Joyce’s stunning descriptions of England’s wild north east, its blossomy south and the paths, both literal and figurative, that link the two. But most of all relish its celebration of the kind of love that endures decades of silence and even death, and emerges burnished all the brighter.” —The Times (UK)“This quiet, gentle, moving novel . . . has a simplicity that sings. [Joyce] captures hope best of all: ‘You don’t have to keep being the thing you have become. It is never too late.’”
—The Guardian (UK)
“Joyce nicely calls the book a companion rather than a sequel. But The Love Song is bolder than a retread of the same material from another angle. . . . After two such involving novels, readers are bound to wish for a third.”
—The Telegraph (UK)
PRAISE FOR THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY
• "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
• "Smart, subtle, funny." --The Globe and Mail
• "Joyce's beguiling debut is another modest-seeming story of 'ordinary' English lives that enthralls and moves you as it unfolds." --People
From the Hardcover edition.