Rachel Joyce is the award-winning author of the 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.
Photograph by Pal Hansen
Maureen Fry and the Angel of the North
Ten years ago, Harold Fry set off on his epic journey on foot to save a friend. But the story doesn’t end there. Now his wife, Maureen, has her own pilgrimage to make.
Maureen Fry has settled into the quiet life she now shares with her husband Harold after his iconic walk across England. Now, ten years later, an unexpected message from the North disturbs her equilibrium again, and this time it is Maureen’s turn to make her own journey.
But Maureen is not like Harold. She struggles to bond with strangers, and the landscape she crosses has changed radically. She has little sense of what she’ll find at the end of the road. All she knows is that she must get there.
Questions for Readers Harold’s journey is both physical and metaphorical. He is not the only character in the novel to go on a journey and Rachel Joyce has said that writing the book was in itself a journey. What other literary journeys does this novel call to mind? Harold says he…
There was a time we always invited friends for New Year’s Eve. We asked them to bring nothing but a piece of music they liked. Come dusk, the house would be packed; first we ate, then we sat round, listening carefully to one another’s tracks, and explaining why that music…