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The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Harold Fry, #2)
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The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

(Harold Fry #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  23,520 ratings  ·  3,546 reviews
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,
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 21st 2014 by Bond Street Books (first published October 7th 2014)
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Jenn While you can, I don't think that it stands alone as Harold Fry does. There is so much of the book that relies on the reader's prior knowledge, and th…moreWhile you can, I don't think that it stands alone as Harold Fry does. There is so much of the book that relies on the reader's prior knowledge, and that adds to the pathos and the emotion of the story. Bex's recommendation is a good one - Harold, bit of a break, then Queenie. I felt I had to go back and refresh because it had been 2 years between books. (less)
Sarah Well I'm just going to be candid. I read Harold Fry first and absolutely loved it. I finished Queenie not that long ago was kind of disappointed bc I …moreWell I'm just going to be candid. I read Harold Fry first and absolutely loved it. I finished Queenie not that long ago was kind of disappointed bc I loved Harold Fry so much. I read them quite a while apart but I remembered the stuff that was important. And the ending .... BOOOOO(less)

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Angela M
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing

While I was reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, I often wondered about who Queenie Hennessy really was and why Harold Fry would make a trek walking hundreds of miles to see her before she dies . Rachel Joyce in this novel has answered all of the questions I had about Queenie and I now know that she was worth every mile that Harold walked and then some .

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
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
In “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry”, Harold believes that if he walks from his home on the South coast of England to where Queenie Hennessy is in a hospice on the North coast of England, he will be able to save her. And there is a reason he wants to save her.

In “The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy”, Queenie is on her own pilgrimage while in the hospice. She is reviewing her life, and particularly the years since she met Harold Fry at work (he says in the stationary cabinet, while she s
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed this even more than The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. At first I was not so sure because Queenie came across as a very insipid and needy person and I wondered how she was going to sustain a whole book. But then the story moved into the hospice and up popped all these marvellous characters. I ended up enjoying the parts of the story about the hospice much more than the parts relating to her past life and Harold Fry. The author achieved a remarkable balance between happy an ...more
Diane Barnes
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: motley-crew
As much as I loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, I liked this one even more. Both of these books contain the stories of ordinary lives, made extraordinary because of the actions of the characters to connect with others. Harold's story was his walking 600 miles to see Queenie before she died; Queenie's story was about her wait for him in the hospice, to stay alive until he arrived. Along the way, we get both their histories.

Waiting with Queenie are the other dying patients at the hospice
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Your letter arrived this morning. We were in the dayroom for morning activities. Everyone was asleep.

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.

Nobody stirred.

“How about Mousetrap?” said Sister Lucy. “That’s a lovely game.”

I was in a chair by the window. Outside, the winter evergreens flapped and shivered. One lone seagull balanced in the sky.

“Hangman?” said Sister Lucy.
Not a Harold Fry prequel or sequel but a parallel story, told in Queenie’s first-person narration as an extended deathbed letter as she waits for Harold to arrive. The humor-tinged hardship of hospice life alternates with touching vignettes from her past. Better than the original – more inventive, allusive and intimate.

When I saw Joyce speak at the 2014 Hungerford Literary Festival, she mentioned that she wrote Harold Fry and Queenie Hennessy simultaneously, emphasizing the idea that these t
Kevin Ansbro

"Dear Harold,
This may come to you as some surprise. I know it is a long time since we last met, but recently I have been thinking about the past. Last year I had an operation on a tumour, but the cancer has spread and there is nothing left to be done. I still think of you with fondness."

If you loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, as I undoubtedly did, then this is the companion book, to be read just as soon as you have put that book down and composed yourself.
That said, it took me three
Dale Harcombe
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my last read of 2015
While Harold Fry is walking through England and Queenie is trying to hold on and wait till he arrives before she dies, she writes him a letter confessing secrets hidden for twenty years. I liked reading Queenie’s story and about her unrequited love for Harold. I liked the interaction between her and David, Harold’s son, though I don’t think I’d have been as generous as she was. I loved reading about her sea garden. The writing is beautiful, especially the description
What a wonderful companion piece to Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. The timing of this novel is parallel to that earlier work and it tells of what is happening while Harold walks, the reason he walks, the present life of Queenie and their interlacing history.

It would be easy to say too much of the story, such as it is, and I do not want to do that. Those who have read of Harold know that Queenie is dying, but here we learn of her living and of her life when she knew Harold and af
Susan Johnson
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
There will be people who really like this. Unfortunately, I am not one. I found this novel comparable to one by Nicholas Sparks and, yet, he is extremely popular. I found it to be so-so. The characters were cut-out paper dolls and the story was just so slow and plodding. For people who like this genre, I am sure it will be a good read.

This is a companion book to the "Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and tells the story of Miss Queenie, the woman Harold was on the journey to see. Queenie is in
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
After reading thousands of books in my lifetime, I just finished one of most profoundly written and memorable books ever.

Perhaps I should have given more thought to this review before writing it, but I had no idea how emotionally involved I had become with each of the characters in this story, until I was literally sobbing after closing the pages of this book.

I read Ms. Joyce's "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry," and immediately ordered a copy of "The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy."

Sherri Thacker
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Wow! This book really tugs at your heartstrings!! I highly recommend you read the book “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” BEFORE reading this. I read that book 8 months ago and I now wished I had re-read it before this one to refresh myself with the story. I preferred the first story over this one and I found myself skimming pages to get through this one. Other than that, this author really knows how to tell a great love story!! 💕 ❤️ 💗
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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 … and take out some happier ones, please”

The Lovesong of Miss Queenie Hennessy is the third novel by actress, radio playwright and author, Rachel Joyce, and is a companion volume to her first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Queenie Hennessy is dying. When she hears that Harold Fry is walking from Devon t

Miss Queenie Hennessy had lived for twenty years at her little seaside cottage since she had left Kingsbridge where Harold Fry lived. Twenty years while she tended her beloved sea garden and thought daily of Harold and her deep love for him. But Harold was married to Maureen, so Queenie’s love had been one sided; quiet and unattainable.

But when Queenie’s body was slowly taken over by cancer and she was no longer able to care for herself, she entered the nearby hospice where she would spend
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you so much to Random House and Netgalley for an opportunity to read an advance copy of The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy. I had won a copy of Joyce's parallel book -- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry -- through Goodreads before it came out in 2012. I knew nothing about Joyce or her book, but was absolutely delighted by the quirky heart felt story. And I enjoyed Joyce's new book just as much but for different reasons. The stories are very much connected and I have trouble imagining re ...more
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star-books
Queenie Hennessey is slowly dying. With her body riddled with the scourge of cancer and knowing she does not have much more time she writes to an old friend who she has not seen for over 20 years. When she discover's Harold is walking across the country in a bid as he sees it to save her she decides she has to come clean with her past feelings towards him and what she believes is her role in the fate of his son.

With the help of kind staff Queenie writes to Harold about the short time she spent w
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Matt by: Rae
Shelves: buddy-read, audiobook
Returning to the work of Rachel Joyce, I chose the companion to her well-written The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. In this piece, Joyce provides the reader with the other side of the story, in which Queenie Hennessy tells her tale of meeting and connecting with Harold, while sharing some secrets she has never revealed over the years.

Having penned a note to Harold Fry from her hospice, Queenie Hennessy hopes that the news of her cancer and likely terminal diagnosis will be met with some und
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the sequel to The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry. In the first book Harold is trekking cross country to visit Queenie Hennesey a former coworker in an English brewery after she sends him a letter from a hospice bidding him farewell. In this one, we get the story from Queenie's side learning how she comes to write both the letter that starts his journey, and a confessional letter about her life to give to him as she awaits his arrival. Both stories are full of life's lessons, happy and ...more
Joanne Harris
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I may be in a minority, in that I actually enjoyed this companion-piece to HAROLD FRY more than the original - perhaps because I was expecting less. Queenie's voice is well-pitched and sure; and the banality of her environment throws her rich inner life into sharp relief. There's something about this book that reminds me of some of Jane Gardam's work, especially THE QUEEN OF THE TAMBOURINE, which I love. It's touching, but not saccharine; simple, but deceptive; crammed with authentic details. ...more
❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...

This author can certainly write. Many of you know all the quotes I've been filling your feed with over the last several days from this book. She captures these quiet intimate moments, the aching inner reflections in sentences that seize me.

"Sometimes you can love something not because you instinctively connect with it but because another person does, and keeping their things in your heart takes you back to them."
carrying heart

"I see only the different parts of my life as if I were a child on
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
A companion book to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry tells of Queenie Hennessy's life, mainly in relation to the Harold Fry story. Set in a hospice, Queenie along with other residents are dying. Their day to day life is described. Obviously this is sometimes very sad but lovely too as you read about the residents friendships and how special and appreciated small things become. As Quennie waits for Harold she writes a letter to him explaining events from the past. I thought the twist at the ...more
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who has read my reviews probably knows how much I loved the novel, 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' by Rachel Joyce. That story.. a very simple story of an ordinary man who undertakes a journey of 600 walking miles to say goodbye to an old friend spending her remaining days in a hospice… spoke to my heart in so many ways. When I discovered that Rachel Joyce had written a novel which would be a companion to Harold's story, I was filled with both excitement AND trepidation. I would o ...more
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was my favourite book to read in 2012. My review of Harold Fry here at

Harold Fry made me cry at lot and I don’t cry easily!...I was delighted to receive The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy as a Christmas gift so that I could continue with the story from Queenies perspective. Thanks Marion!

Rachel Joyce has stated that Queenies story is not a sequel to Harold Fry, but rather a companion to the first book and that’s ex
Thomas Edmund
Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it

My first reaction to hearing about the existence of this book was confusion. Many of the discussions I had in person and online around the companion book The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry centred around the real feelings of Queenie towards Harold, the conclusions tending toward the book’s theme being in part about that mystery and Harold’s realisation that he would never know.

So in some respects the appearance of this book blasted apart that theor
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
Ugh. ugh ugh ugh. I really shouldn't have given this a shot, considering I only gave the first one 3.5 stars. The author made the characters in this book completely unlikeable, and even more so loathable. In the first book, I enjoyed their friendship. I liked the characters and how they found solace in each other in an innocent way. The way the second book was written feels like the author was grasping for another success, Unsuccessfully. It was way too easy for her to make Queenie in love with ...more
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
In The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, author Rachel Joyce took us on amazing journey, as Harold walked from one end of England to the other to visit Queenie, a work colleague and friend from his past who is dying in a hospice, and who has sent him a letter.
In this book we hear not only the parallel story of what is happening to Queenie whilst Harold is making his epic journey, but we learn the nature of their long ago friendship, and of why Queenie fled to make a new life elsewhere.

The story
Paul E. Morph
'The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy' isn't a sequel or a prequel to the marvellous 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry' but rather a companion novel. It takes place over the same timeframe as 'Harold' but is told from the point of view of the object of Harold's quest, the titular Queenie Hennessy.

If you've read 'Harold' (and I would definitely recommend reading that book first, despite this not technically being a sequel) then you know the ultimate outcome of both books but believe me whe
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The author describes this as a companion book to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and that is very much what it is. As well as telling us more about Queenie's life and what she has been doing since she left Kingsbridge, it also tells her side of Harold Fry's story as he is walking towards her.

It is also story about dying and how we do that in our society. Queenie's friends in the Hospice are all wonderful, Finty, Barbara, Mr Henderson and the Pearly King. They may all be at death door but
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favorites
4.5 Stars

A quiet story of sacrifice, guilt, unrequited love, and redemption that is brilliantly told. As readers, we are privileged to journey alongside Queenie, who is slowly fading away in a hospice care home, as she waits for her dear Harold Fry to walk the length of England to see her one last time. Yep, it’s dramatic & sentimental but so very worthy. I cried like a baby.

Reread 4/21: Bumping this one up to a full 5 Stars because Joyce is simply stunning with her language and spins such a tho

A-Z Challenge with Karly and Jess

J = Joyce, Rachel

5 stars

“Sometimes you cannot clear the past completely. You must live alongside your sorrow.”

I received an ARC copy of The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy from Netgalley without realizing that it was the second in a series and was completely unprepared for what I found in these two novels. If you haven't read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, you should. In the first novel, Harold receives a letter from an old friend saying that she was d
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Rachel Joyce has written over 20 original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, and major adaptations for both the Classic Series, Woman's Hour and also a TV drama adaptation for BBC 2. In 2007 she won the Tinniswood Award for best radio play. She moved to writing after a twenty-year career in theatre and television, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, and ...more

Other books in the series

Harold Fry (2 books)
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, #1)

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When it comes to the romance genre, second books can be a bit like second dates, can't they? You've had that great initial meet-cute with...
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“All these years I thought a piece of my life was missing. But it was there all along. It was there when I sat beside you in your car and you began to drive. It was there when I sang backwards and you laughed or I made a picnic and you ate every crumb. It was there when you told me you liked my brown suit, when you opened the door for me, when you asked once if I would like to take the long road home. It came later in my garden. When I looked at the sun and saw it glow on my hands. When a rosebud appeared where there had not been one before. It was in the people who stopped and talked of this and that over the garden wall. And just when I thought my life was done, it came time and time again at the hospice. It has been everywhere, my happiness – when my mother sang for me to dance, when my father took my hand to keep me safe – but it was such a small, plain thing that I mistook it for something ordinary and failed to see. We expect our happiness to come with a sign and bells, but it doesn’t.” 28 likes
“Sometimes you can love something not because you instinctively connect with it but because another person does, and keeping their things in your heart takes you back to them.” 19 likes
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