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Listening to the Silence

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The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy: A Novella - Rachel Joyce

Miss Queenie Hennessy is dying. She leaves behind no family, no friends. Yet she carries a past that haunts her. In an effort to set her effects in order before her, she writes to a man who had once been a co-worker and friend. When he responds with a note to wait for him as he crosses the length of England on foot, she panics. What can she say to this man from whom she has  So with the aid of one of the volunteer nuns at the hospice she begins to write everything she had never told him, a final act of absolution. 

 

I admit, I was one of those readers who was surprised by the author's first book. It was a unique story, that of a man making an unplanned cross-country journey, hoping to save both his friend and himself. When I finished that book, almost immediately I wanted to know the other side of the story. I wanted to know why Queenie had felt compelled to write to him, so many years after they last had contact. This story is everything I wanted it to be, and more. I loved Queenie, I loved the other residents of the hospice. More than once I found myself both laughing and crying with them. I don're often do this and so I wonder if this has to do with the author's skill at characterization, or because of my experience as a hospice volunteer. Perhaps it was both. Regardless, this book answers every question I had at the end of Harold Fry, even questions I didn't know I had. It was a moving tale of heartbreak, redemption, and self-forgiveness, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. If you loved <b>The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry</b>, then you must read Queenie's story.

 

***Note, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***