The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce
What happens if, in the last days of your life, the man you loved completely, and fear you betrayed horribly, says he's coming to see you? But he's not hopping in a car, or taking the train, he's walking the full length of England, from his home to the town where you are in hospice. The Love Song of Miss Queen Hennessy tells the story of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry from her perspective, not his. And like the original, I found it a beautifully written, compelling tale, full of heart -- a good window into the world of those whose days on earth are drawing to a close. Like other stories told from different perspectives (the movie Rashomon comes to mind, but there are so many books that interweave points of view) it is fascinating to see where the two books overlap, run parallel, or diverge completely. I never really got a good handle on Queenie's character in the first book, but this one drew me to her solitary life, and made me mourn in advance, because I knew no matter how slowly I read, I'd still lose this complex and caring woman at the end. While The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry came wrapped in hope and strength, this came bundled up in love, understanding and acceptance. The author had some nice touches in the characters who inhabit Queenie's world: other patients, hospice workers, nuns, and also a few well placed surprises.
Plus, I wish I could see Queenie's Garden by the sea.
Thanks to LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program and the publisher for sending a copy go the book my well.