Book Review: Maureen by Rachel Joyce

Posted February 11, 2023 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 11 Comments

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Series: Harold Fry #3
by Rachel Joyce
Publication Date February 7, 2023
Published by Random House Publishing Group
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Women
Pages: 192
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

“A touching tale about heartbreak and healing . . . If you loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fryand The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, make time to read this finale to the trilogy.”—Good Housekeeping
Ten years ago, Harold Fry set off on a six-hundred-mile walk to save a friend. But the story doesn’t end there. Now his wife, Maureen, has her own pilgrimage to make.

Only she can finish the journey her husband started.

Maureen and Harold Fry have settled into a quiet life, but when an unexpected message from the North disturbs their peaceful equilibrium, Maureen realizes that it’s now her turn to make a journey. But she is not like her affable, easygoing husband. By turns outspoken, then vulnerable, she struggles to form bonds with the people she meets—and the landscape she crosses has radically changed. 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.

A deeply felt, lyrical, and powerful novel, Maureen explores love, loss, and how we come to terms with the past in order to understand ourselves a little better. While this book 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. Like those beloved books, Maureen has all the power and weight of a classic.

Maureen by Rachel Joyce is the third book in the Harold Fry series.  This can be read as a stand-alone, as the author sums up the previous books, but it would be better to read this series in order. 

Story Recap:

Maureen Fry is living a quiet life with her husband Harold.  It’s been ten years since he completed his iconic walk across the country.  Maureen receives a message from up north that makes her uneasy.  With her husband’s encouragement, Maureen makes the same journey her husband made.  But, Maureen is much more practical than her husband and she decides to drive up north instead of walking.  Her journey is more than just the miles she drives.  

My Thoughts: 

This is one of those series where it really should be read in order.  Maureen is a severe woman, who is not likable in the beginning.  But, as the story goes along, I began to understand her better and by the end I really liked her.  And I can see why Harold is so kind to her and loves her.  

The book is sad and then hopeful, and funny at times too. I enjoyed the journey along with Maureen.  This is a poignant ending to the series. 


I highly recommend Maureen to anyone who enjoys fiction.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce has written over 20 original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, and major adaptations for both the Classic Series, Woman's Hour and also a TV drama adaptation for BBC 2. In 2007 she won the Tinniswood Award for best radio play. She moved to writing after a twenty-year career in theatre and television, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, and Cheek by Jowl, winning a Time Out Best Actress award and the Sony Silver.

Have you read Maureen?

11 responses to “Book Review: Maureen by Rachel Joyce

  1. I read the first Harold Fry book, but not the second. I do want to read it though, so will check the library before reading this one. Nice review, Wendy.