The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy: A Novel
In my book club we read Rachel Joyce’s previous book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and the question everyone had was “What happened to Queenie?” Harold Fry embarked on his walking tour after receiving a letter notifying him of Queenie’s illness. Harold walked from southern England to the farthest northern point, where Queenie lies hospitalized at death’s door. It is as tribute to the writer that one wants to know more about her characters. What has Queenie’s life been like and what is her true connection to Harold? This book answers all those questions, and we discover Queenie’s secrets. Queenie dictates the story of her life to a nun, Sister Mary Inconnu. Inconnu means a stranger, who, like Queenie cannot be known or revealed. Like Harold Fry, Queenie has had a day-to-day life, meeting Harold Fry when she worked as an accountant, even though she had been educated in literature at Oxford. Like all lives, however, Queenie’s has had a share of heartbreak and tragedy. It is to the writer’s credit and skill that we care so much about her.
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