Nominated by:

Timaru District Libraries, New Zealand

Publisher of nominated edition:

Published by Doubleday UK

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

Rachel Joyce      

2016 Longlist

An exquisite, funny and heartrending parallel story from the author of the worldwide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

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.

Told in simple, emotionally-honest prose, with a mischievous bite, this is a novel about the journey we all must take to learn who we are; it is about loving and letting go. And most of all it is about finding joy in unexpected places and at times we least expect.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has been translated into 34 languages. Rachel Joyce was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards ‘New Writer of the Year’ in December 2012 and shortlisted for the ‘Writer of the Year’ 2014. She is also the award-winning writer of over 30 original afternoon plays and classic adaptations for BBC Radio 4. Rachel Joyce lives with her family in Gloucestershire.

Librarian’s Comments

This tale of Queenie’s life and last days in a hospice, in theory should make for depressing reading, but instead is a wonderful story about living and dying with dignity, about friendship and love, and regrets and acceptance. With its great cast of supporting characters, Rachel Joyce’s book, filled with humour and human warmth, leaves you thinking of Queenie and her friends long after the final page.

Related Entries