Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Release Day! Maureen by Rachel Joyce ~ My Thoughts #Maureen #NetGalley

Happy Release Day!

Congrats Rachel
on the release today of

Maureen by Rachel Joyce
Fiction, British Literature, 192 pages
Published February 7, 2023 by The Dial Press 

From the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry comes a moving novel told from the point of view of Harold’s wife Maureen. Now undertaking her own journey, Maureen will discover a way to reconnect with the world she’s closed a door on.

Maureen Fry has settled into the quiet life she shares with her husband after his iconic walk across England ten years ago. When an unexpected message from the North disturbs her equilibrium again, it is now her turn to make a journey. But Maureen is not like Harold. By turns outspoken, then vulnerable, she struggles to form bonds with the people she meets, and the landscape she crosses has radically changed. And Maureen has no sense of what she will find at the end of the road. All she knows is that she has to get there.

Maureen is a deeply felt, lyrical, and powerful novel, full of warmth and kindness, about love, loss, and how we come to terms with the past in order to understand ourselves and our lives a little better. While it stands alone, it is also the extraordinarily moving finale to a trilogy that began with the phenomenal bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and continued in The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. What was started by Harold, only Maureen can complete.

My thoughts about Maureen ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"We have a closet door that is always sticking. It's the kind of closet where we shove in things that we don't want to deal with. but can't yet throw out."

Maureen is a caring women—very set in her ways, getting by in life—but maybe not really happy with the hand that has been dealt her. She takes off on her own on a quest that is calling to her, something that she is compelled to see though to the end. Along the way and by the end of her journey, she discovers a lot about herself, her husband, and the world she finds herself drowning in. This was definitely a journey of a lifetime. 

I enjoyed following along with Maureen through her travels and as she grows and finds happiness. This is book three in the Harold Fry trilogy and it's said the books can be read a standalone. While that may be true, I read book one, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, before reading Maureen and I'm so glad I did. I had a better understanding of Maureen and what she was going through and the reason for her quest. I think I'd now like to read book two, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, to find out more about Queenie and why she was such a strong influence on this couple. 

Overall this is a wonderful series full of discovery, growth, and reconciliation. 

I received an ARC of Maureen from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

About the author

Rachel Joyce is the award-winning author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, The Music Shop, and Miss Benson’s Beetle, as well as a collection of interlinked short stories, A Snow Garden & Other Stories.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and long listed for the Man Booker Prize. Rachel has been awarded the Specsavers New Writer of the Year National Book Award and shortlisted for the UK author of the year. Miss Benson’s Beetle was the winner of the 2021 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. Her novels have sold over 5 million copies worldwide in thirty six languages.

Rachel’s writing career began in radio drama and she has written many afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, as well as major adaptations of all the Bronte novels, and Henry James. In 2007 she jointly won the Tinniswood Award for best original audio drama.

Next year The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will be a major film starring Jim Broadbent and Penelope Wilton, for which Rachel also wrote the screenplay.

Her next novel, Maureen Fry & the Angel of the North, will be published in the UK on October 22 and signed copies are available now to preorder. ~ Author website

Connect with Rachel


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