The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy: A Novel

Written by:
Rachel Joyce
Narrated by:
Celia Imrie

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2015
10 hours 36 minutes
From the New York Times 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.

“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.”—The Washington Post

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.
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Suzy C.

This book was a bit slow at times, but I did enjoy getting to hear Queenie’s perspective. Beautifully done.

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Deborah K.

I enjoyed The Unlikely Pilgrimage immensely, a while ago, and figured I'd listen to this companion book (as the author rightly calls it). The writing is just as beautiful, but the story was more difficult. It weaves together a story of terminal illness and death, and how to find joy in even little things to alleviate the pain - that aspect was good, though the terminal illness and death is quite a downer, and a story of a woman obsessed with a married man. She feels she loves him (maybe she does, though love is pretty complicated, is it not?), but so many years to be obsessed with him, when she can never have him and knows it seems quite extreme. I found that obsession tedious. And then there is a third thread - Harold's son with mental illness. Very sad, too. So I enjoyed the quality of the writing and the narration was superb, while the story could have been trimmed down, and is too sad to say I really enjoyed it.

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Cyn K.

I found Queeny's side of the story just as delightful as Harold's and highly recommend both.

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Eileen W.

I read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye a few years ago, and liked it, but didn’t love it. This story was wonderful. Funny, poignant, smart. I want to read (listen) to Harold Frye again-perhaps I will get more out of it now that I know the parallel story.

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Jean G

Overall, this was an enjoyable book. I didnt enjoy it nearly as much as I did the companion book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, but I listened to it all the way through and am glad I didnt give up on it in the middle.

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