The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy: A Novel by Rachel JoyceThe Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy: A Novel by Rachel Joyce

The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy: A Novel

byRachel Joyce

Hardcover | January 12, 2017

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  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.

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 awa...
Title:The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy: A NovelFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:352 pages, 8.5 × 5.9 × 1.22 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.9 × 1.22 inPublished:January 12, 2017Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385682824

ISBN - 13:9780385682824


Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I read quite a bit over the last few days. The plot-twists left me shocked and confused in the best way. It left me thinking hard, pondering every detail of the book. I would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I saw her new book, "the music shop" at Toppings and Company" two weeks ago in Scotland, didn't buy it, and thought I would try this one as I do not know this very popular IK author. This was a fantastic book and will be looking forward to this newest novel
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from For Fans of "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" When I picked up this book I did not recognize the writer. But quickly into the book I realized it was a companion book to the author's "Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry". I loved that book! But I found this new book a little slower... but I persisted.... and am so glad. The ending was a shocker! So I encourage you to give this a try, but recommend you read Rachel Joyce's "Pilgrimage" book first.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful You have to read this to get to the ending! It had been a while since I read Harold Fry - parts of the story came back to me but it would've been good to reread it first. There were parts of this book where I just wanted the author to get to the foreshadowed event and found it a bit annoying that she was dragging it out, but overall a great read. Again, the ending just makes it wonderful.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely Continuation The book is well written and most enjoyable. It becomes far more so if one reads the predecessor book about Harold Fry. The story then takes on a far more interesting and heart warming meaning.
Date published: 2015-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This was such a good read, didn't want it to end and a great ending, didn't see it coming. My sister and I both recommend. I hope Joyce writes another one soon.
Date published: 2015-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The perfect companion. If you have read about Harold Fry, you absolutely must read Queenie's side of the story. I loved both books. Tragedy, humor and love lost and found are the perfect combination.
Date published: 2014-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A perfect sequel to "Harold Fry". I love Rachel Joyce's use of language and perception of characters. Her other novel "Perfect" is also the same; eloquent descriptions of the world and the people in it.
Date published: 2014-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from If you loved Harold Fry you will love this book as well I liked how we saw the tale of Harold Fry from Queenie’s side. I wish I reread The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry before I read this book. There was a lot of I have forgotten. My favourite part of the book was the ending. It was spectacular!! I was definitely thrown for a curve!! I loved it and hated it at the same time! (You’ll soon see why!)
Date published: 2014-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love Rachel Joyce's writing I am often asked - who is your favourite author? Well, it's hard to narrow it down to just one. But, the books that stay with me long after the last page are the ones that move me, that make me laugh, make me cry and make me think. Stories about people. Rachel Joyce writes extraordinary stories. And yes, she is one of my favourite authors. You may recognize her name - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was a best seller and is a book I absolutely loved. (my review) For those of you who haven't read it (and you need to) it is the story of an ordinary man who receives a postcard from Queenie Hennessy, someone he hasn't heard from in twenty years. She is dying, but wants to say thank you for his friendship all those years ago. Harold gets it into his head that if he walks to see her (from one end of England to the other) she won't die. I remember thinking at the end of Harold's story, that I wanted to know more about Queenie's life. And I've got my wish. Rachel Joyce's new book is The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. We get to see the other side of the story as Queenie waits in the hospice for Harold to arrive. Unable to speak, and with the help of one of the nuns, she decides to write another letter to Harold - "....tell him the truth, the whole truth. Tell him how it really was." Queenie's memories are full of joy and love, but also sadness and pain. I loved this ....."If only memory were a library with everything stored where it should be. If only you could walk to the desk and say to the assistant, I'd like to return the painful memories about David Fry or indeed his mother and take out some happier ones please." The past and those memories are unfurled and revealed in Queenie's remembering. The pace of her telling varies and I found myself matching my reading to the story. Slowly, to stop and savour the joy and description of her beautiful sea garden and more quickly as the painful memories are unearthed. The hospice is populated by a wonderfully eclectic group whose time is limited as well. Harold's journey and Queenie's waiting for Harold becomes part of their lives also. The nuns that work at the hospice are funny, kind and wise. Innocent Sister Lucy and Sister Mary Inconno were personal favourites. " You are here to live until you die. There is a significant difference." Joyce says she ..."set out to write a book about dying that was full of life. It seems to me that you can't really write about one without the other - just as you can't really write about happiness if you don't confront sadness. And she has. Rachel Joyce's writing make you feel - laugh, cry (oh yes have a tissue ready), empathize and sympathize, and might have you thinking about your own life, loves, hopes and dreams. There are so many memorable passages in this book - Joyce is such a gifted writer. "Sometimes, Harold, the way forward takes you by surprise. You try to force something in the familiar direction and discover that what it needs is to move in a different dimension. The way forward is not forward, but off to one side, in a place you have not noticed before." Just when I was resigned to the end of the book only being a few pages away, Joyce surprised me - with the most perfect, unexpected ending. If you loved Harold Fry's story (and I would recommend reading Harold's story first to fully appreciate this book), you'll love Queenie's too. This is one of my favourite books of 2014.
Date published: 2014-10-22

Bookclub Guide

1.    Although Queenie is waiting for Harold Fry, she too is on a journey.  Did you notice any parallels between the journeys in The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy?  2.    In her letter, Queenie notes that ‘we write ourselves certain parts and then keep playing them as if we have no choice’. Do you agree with this statement? 3.    ‘When I woke, I had a visitor. She had a grapefruit on her head. She’d also brought her horse’. From the beginning of the novel, it is clear that Queenie is under the influence of morphine. With hindsight, how far do you think reality blurred with illusion? 4.    Queenie describes her sea garden in exquisite detail.  What is relevance of the sea garden to the novel as a whole?  5.    In her letter to Harold, Queenie describes how she witnessed David’s declining mental health.  Do you put David’s troubles down to nature or nurture?6.    ‘Sometimes we like to laugh at ourselves.  We like to be silly.’  How does Rachel Joyce use humour throughout The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy?7.    ‘I am starting again, I thought.  Because that is what you do when you reach the last stop.  You make a new beginning.’  How do beginnings and endings interact throughout this novel? 8.    In her own letter, included at the end of The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, Rachel Joyce says that the patients at St Bernadine’s are a ‘chorus for Queenie – her backing vocals’. However, Finty and her fellow patients are described in vivid detail.  What backstories might you give them?9.    The doctor of philosophy argues that ‘when we love, it is only to fool ourselves that we are something’.  Queenie’s unrequited love for Harold is sustained for twenty years. What do you make of this? Is it true love or something else?10.    At which point in her life do you think Queenie is happiest?11.    Is the Harold of this novel the same man that walks out of his home in The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry?12.    Queenie writes ‘I was to blame.  I am to blame.’  Is her guilt justified?13.    Has the book changed your perception of hospices?

Editorial Reviews

Nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award"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.” —Chatelaine“[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.” —Marie Claire  “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.” —Reader’s Digest  “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.” —Stylist “[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