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"
"In the end, this lovely book is full of joy. Much more than the story of a woman's enduring love for an ordinary, flawed man, it's an ode to messy, imperfect, glorious, unsung humanity. . . . Queenie's] love song is for us. Thank you, Rachel Joyce."--"The Washington Post"
"Joyce's writing at moments has a simplicity that sings. She captures hope best of all."--"The Guardian"
" A] deeply affecting novel . . . Culminating in a shattering revelation, Queenie's] tale is funny, sad, hopeful: She's bound for death, but full of life."--"People"
"Like "Harold Fry, Queenie" is delightful and dark. . . . But Joyce is so deft that when the book is over and you close the cover, the darkness fades. What sticks with you is the light of Queenie's unwavering love."--Minneapolis "Star Tribune"
" 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 "(starred review)
"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"
"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"
" Joyce] manages to both add depth to an already strong work and build something new and beautiful upon it."--"The A.V. Club"
"From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Celia Imrie is an Olivier award-winning actress best known for her parts in the films Calendar Girls" and Nanny McPhee". In February 2015 she returns as Madge in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel". Her roles on stage include Dotty in Noises Off" and Mrs Tilehouse in The Sea", and, on television, Diana in After You've Gone", Vera in A Dark Adapted Eye" and Miss Babs in Acorn Antiques". Last year she brought her cabaret/revue show Laughing Matters" to Crazy Coqs and then to the St James Theatre. Her autobiography, The Happy Hoofer", was published in 2011.