Rachel Joyce

All posts tagged Rachel Joyce

The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Harold Fry #2) – Rachel Joyce

Published August 21, 2016 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

From the author of the 2 million+ copy, worldwide bestseller,The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, an exquisite, funny and heartrending parallel story.

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.

What did I think?:

Rachel Joyce’s debut novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry makes its way onto my favourite books of all-time list so it was simply a no-brainer that I was going to read this one, a companion novel to the Harold Fry story, when it came out. The Love Song Of Queenie Hennessy can be read as a stand alone, but to be honest, I think its best if you read Harold Fry first, to get a real flavour of the characters and understand why Harold decides to walk all those miles to visit Queenie in the hospice when he receives her letter that tells him she is dying.

From the very beginning of Harold Fry, I started to fall in love with the character of Queenie and was ecstatic beyond words when I heard that she was going to get her very own voice and we would hear her side of the story. When Queenie hears what Harold is doing, she is both shocked and very excited but feels there are some things that Harold needs to know, things that she has been keeping hidden all these years and a tragedy that she feels responsible for. The kindly nuns suggest that Queenie writes Harold another letter to explain all of this as due to the cancer, Queenie can sadly no longer talk so Queenie does just that.

One letter turns into a epic mountain of a task, with the nuns having to tape the pen to Queenie’s hand so she can carry on writing near the end – she is determined to finish and adamant that she will stay alive until he arrives. Through Queenie’s words we learn about her early life, when she was a young woman and first met Harold, her trials and tribulations through her life, especially with Harold’s son, David, and her beloved sea garden that she constructs and people come from miles around to see.  Not only do we learn more about the sweetness that is Queenie with her unrequited love and admiration for Harold but a whole host of whimsical characters in the hospice like Pearly King and the fiesty, foul-mouthed (but ever so loveable) Finty who also find their own determination to live to see Harold Fry arrive.

This novel ticked all the right boxes for me in terms of an amazing plot and stupendous characterisation, which I already knew about from Harold Fry but it was lovely to hear the secrets and drama behind Queenie’s life. Oh my gosh, the sadness though….I remember wanting to cry at the end of Harold Fry but at the end of Queenie Hennessy, Rachel Joyce actually succeeded in making me a sobbing mess – in a good way of course! The prose again was flawless and truly beautiful and the moments of humour combined with the tragedy of it all floored me on many occasions. One of my friends on GoodReads has suggested that there could be a third book, told from the perspective of Harold’s wife, Maureen and I have to admit, I’d love her to give it a shot. Please Rachel Joyce, please?!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

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April 2015 – Book Bridgr/NetGalley/Kindle/ARC Month

Published April 1, 2015 by bibliobeth

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It’s that time again. One whole month devoted to catching up with some review copies, books I’ve received from Book Bridgr and NetGalley and those poor forgotten books on my Kindle that I’ve been meaning to get around to. Here’s what I’ll be reading this April (linked to GoodReads and then my review once written):

Strange Girls And Ordinary Women – Morgan McCarthy

(courtesy of BookBridgr)

Noah’s Rainy Day – Sandra Brannan

(courtesy of NetGalley)

The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins

(bought for Kindle)

Getting Rooted In New Zealand – Jamie Baywood

(from author)

This Is The Water – Yannick Murphy

(courtesy of BookBridgr)

Divinity And The Python – Bonnie Randall

(courtesy of NetGalley)

The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy – Rachel Joyce

(borrowed from Chrissi Reads for Kindle)

Off Key – Mark Robertson

(from author)

Roseblood – Paul Doherty

(courtesy of BookBridgr)

Piano From A 4th Storey Window – Jenny Morton Potts

(from author)

There’s a lot of goodies on this list I’m looking forward to. I’m really excited about The Girl On The Train and Queenie Hennessy (as The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is one of my all time favourite books). Bring it on April, I’m ready for you!

A-Z Book Survey

Published August 15, 2013 by bibliobeth

AtoZsurvey

I came across this survey from my sister’s blog and it looked like a lot of fun! You can see her answers HERE.

This survey was initially compiled by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner. Thank you to her! Check out her post HERE

Author you’ve read the most books from:

No surprise here, Stephen King. For me, there is a reason why his surname is KING.

Best Sequel Ever:

This is an easy question for me, it would have to be Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons. Her first book is The Bronze Horseman and to be honest, took my breath away. The sequel definitely complemented the first book!

Currently Reading:

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Simon Mawer.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Tea, tea and more tea!

E-reader or Physical Book?

Both! Kindle for convenience, real book for looky, smelly, touchy. (oh dear)

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Fitzwilliam Darcy – Pride and Prejudice. (SIGH) His attitude might actually have made me more interested!!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I really didn’t expect Sherlock Holmes to be this exciting!

Hidden Gem Book:

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn. Ancient Rome, gladiators, a bit of gore and romance. What’s not to like? LOVED this book.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

I have to say, it’s the same as my sisters. Starting this blog has been one of the best things I’ve done literally speaking (haha). I read from so many different genres that I wouldn’t have touched before, I’ve had some great recommendations, and met some really nice people!

Just Finished:

I’ve just finished Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver which was excellent.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I’d like to think I read quite a wide selection of things, but I don’t really enjoy anything too fluffy or chick-litty. A bit of fluff is okay (I suppose) but not if it edges into mature cheddar cheese!

Longest Book You’ve Read:

The Lord of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien at 1,216 pages, individually Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Major book hangover because of:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I loved that book so much I just wanted it to go on and on.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Uh-oh. This is where my book obsession borders into insanity. Two large ones in the sitting room jam packed to bursting. (I call it Book Corner). Two slim tall bookcases in the bedroom and er…. maybe one or two bookcases worth at my parents house?

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

It – Stephen King. Amazing and terrifying and never fails to give me chills every time I read it.

Preferred Place To Read:

I have quite a long journey to work so I love to just escape into a book on the tube. Saves me having to make eye contact with any dodgy people as well, haha.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

 
 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
―     Eleanor Roosevelt,     This is My Story    
A great motto for life as well I think!

Reading Regret:

Spending so much time reading thrillers. Not that I hate thrillers, I love them! But at one time, they were all I read, I’m so glad I now read a mixture of different genres.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

I need to finish the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver. Pandemonium is coming up on my list pretty soon but I’ve just got so many books to read.

Three of your All-Time Favourite Books:

In no particular order..

  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  3. The Green Mile – Stephen King

(Wow that was hard! I have too many all time favourites!)

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Quite a few people (I promise I won’t mention King again…). I’ll say Philippa Gregory, I love almost all her novels and get very excited when one is due to be released.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Dr Sleep – Stephen King. The follow up to The Shining. Oh damn, I mentioned him again.

Worst Bookish Habit:

Being maybe a bit TOO control freakish with lending my precious books. Please don’t break their spine, I can’t take it!!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

This is based on my Kindle in alphabetical order as I’m not at home at the moment: Annexed by Sharon Dogar.

Your latest book purchase:

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (spoiler alert) J K Rowling!

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Amazing!
Please feel free to leave your link to your A-Z book survey and I’ll come take a look, I’d love to see some of your answers!