Queenie is dying. Harold is walking all the way to her. If only she can hold on. She begins another letter to him. One filled with truth; a no-holds-barred missive about things kept secret for twenty years. Now, instead of waiting to die, all the patients in palliative care learn the importance of how to live life, with their end transformed into a rage to live.
All over England, everyone’s attention is caught by Harold Fry’s journey to Queenie. Its countdown is marked on maps, printed in newspapers and passed on by word of mouth and Twitter. And as Harold walks across England, Queenie writes all that has remained unspoken as atonement for their lost years.
This is a deeply moving story of love. Queenie makes us think of and believe in, the many faces of love and different ways of loving. It is a book about living life to the fullest and dying with dignity. Through Queenie’s voice, Rachel Joyce reveals a variety of human emotions - good and bad.
I began to read Queenie’s story and found myself regretting I hadn’t read the The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, the previous book which Joyce calls ‘the companion’ to this one. But as the story progresses, a great deal is learnt about the relationship between Queenie and Harold I felt that the story can stand independent of the companion.
Stunning emotive prose glides throughout the book and leaves the reader breathless with its beauty. I adored every word I read and praise the writer who left me with such a memorable experience.
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis
Title: The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
Author: Rachel Joyce
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: October 2014 $ 32.99RRP