A lovely goodbye, book review : the love song of miss Queenie Hennessy, by Rachel Joyce


In her room, in an hospice near St Berwick upon Tweed, Queenie is waiting. For Harold Fry, a man she once knew, because he has told her to do so: he decided to walk through England to come see her. So Queenie and the other patients, at this palliative care hospice, have something else to wait for than death, and their life is changed. Queenie remembers the years she spent working with Harold and the years since, and writes him, for the first time, an honest letter. This book goes side by side with “the unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry”, who tells Harold’s side of the story, and even if I might have liked Harold”s book better, because it’s a wonderful tale of hope and kindness, and of all the crazy people the character met while walking, The love song of Queenie Hennessy is a great book on its own, about end of life, about making peace with your past. I’m looking forward to the moment at the end of this gap year when I’ll put these two side by side in my bookshelf, when I’ll have a room again. I’m very attached to them.

Quotes: first sentence: Dear Harold, this may come to you as some surprise.

I applied her rule to my life; after all, we are all searching for them, the rules. We pick them up from the strangest places, and if they appear to work once we can live a whole lifetime by them, regardless of the unhappiness and difficulty they may later bring.

The world if full with women who have children, and women who don’t, but there is also a silent band of women who almost had them, I am one of those.

Sometimes you have to do something with you pain otherwise it will swallow you

You don’t get to a place by constantly moving, even  if your journey is one of sitting still and waiting. Every once in a while you have to stop in your tracks and admire the view. (…) You have to see what you did not see before. And then you have to sleep


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