Saturday, 23 April 2016

Rachel Joyce

This book, a follow-up the the wonderful 'Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry', is not a sequel so much as a parallel story. I think I enjoyed it even more.

My review -

This is the other side of the coin – the parallel story to that of Harold Fry. I think you could read either alone but the pair together explain things we might have missed. Queenie is in the last weeks of her life in a hospice in the far north of England. She sends him a letter to say she’s dying and Harold is walking to see her. A new hospice volunteer suggests she write to him and tell all the things weighing on her mind.

I loved the charming Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and didn’t expect to enjoy this quite as much. I think I actually enjoyed it more. Queenie reflects on her life – one which many would consider unfulfilled, perhaps even wasted. Yet what she has made of it is wonderful; her sea garden; her restored beach house home. Queenie is a strong woman, but cancer is beating her. Some of the other hospice patients are fantastic characters and you can’t help warning to them – I especially loved Finty. I also enjoyed the enigmatic Sister Mary Inconnue, the volunteer enabling the letter to Harold with Queenie’s explanations and confessions. I pondered on the name when I saw it. At the end, I got it. This is an absolutely charming, gripping and wonderful story and I read it in record time. Couldn’t wait!

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