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  • Location: England, Berwick upon Tweed

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: The story of the woman who was so important to Harold Fry has some secrets of her own to spill. A companion to the book The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Harold is on his famous walk and Queenie is waiting….

  • ISBN: 978-0857522450
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Queenie Hennessy is the woman who Harold Fry is walking the length and breadth of Britain to go and see as she lies dying. He is walking to save her and he asks her to wait for him. How can she wait when she is so ill? She told Harold that in her letter to him.

Someone at the hospice where Queenie now lives,suggests that she should write another letter and explain what she left out. Secrets, hidden words, and all that she has wanted to tell him for years.

Do you know the saying that there is always two sides to every story? Well this is that second side….of the story of Harold and Queenie.

Travel Guide

The length and breadth of the UK was covered in Harold Fry and although this is essentially the same journey we see a lot more of Queenie Hennessey’s time and life in Berwick where she moves into a home . Her home is fictional of course but was modelled on  a house thee author spotted in Embleton Bay  and she mentions a series of stone steps that are carved into the dunes which may lead to her garden if you look hard enough.

And all the time we hear from Harold and Queenie’s view of all that he is doing. A lovely charming companion – both the book and of course Harold.

Here we see more of the Berwick setting where the hospice is and before Queenie gets there – her home in Embleton Bay. Such a lovely part of the world and we at the booktrail are very proud that Queenie spent her last days here.

This is a good place for a guide to the area –nationaltrust.org.uk/embleton-and-newton

Streetview Maps

Embleton Bay
Just south of Low Newton by the sea is where Queen Hennessey lives
Berwick
Harold walks to Queenie. This bridge is amazing!

Booktrailer Review

Susan:

I’ve never read a companion novel before but this one really adds to the charming story of Harold Fry and given that it was quite literally  a journey it is nice to see how Queenie reacted and felt about everything that Harold was doing for her.

I’d always wondered just what Queenie and Harold had had between them and what Queenie felt for Harold which we are told in this book. There are secrets and revelations that everyone has but that not everyone has the chance to reveal before they die.

I’d always had a soft spot for Queenie and her role in Harold’s life and I was really pleased to finally meet her and her friends in the care home as I was keen to spend time with her and to sit with her and be able to tell her that I’d read Harold’s book and that yes he really was coming to be with her.

“Harold Fry is on the telly! Quick, everyone! Quick!”

This is a very emotional and poignant read – set in a care home you can imagine the sort of conversations and ‘topics’ that come up amongst those living there. Having said that the humour and dry wit shines through as it did with Harold. When a nurse asks Queenie what she sees from the window of the hospice, Queenie writes the answer down-

“I wrote, Clouds. I put Grey ones. I added, This is England What do you expect?”

You would have to read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to be able to understand references in this book and indeed the author says this is a companion book. Although it doesn’t ‘add’ as such , it rounds things off nicely and it’s a unique premise to have two characters tell the same story as from two very different viewpoints and ends of the country, they are not the same story at all of course.

And keep a box of hankies at your side.

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information:

Web: rachel-joyce.co.uk

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