Maureen [Book Review] #LiteraryFiction #HaroldFry @RandomHousePub

Maureen by Rachel Joyce

Maureen, a reflection on grief and finding yourself, completes the poignant Harold Fry Trilogy.

Maureen by Rachel Joyce (cover) image: white text and light blue graphic images of plants and red birds and against a dark blue background

Genre/Categories/Setting: Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Grief, Friendship, England

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My Summary of Maureen:

Thanks #NetGalley @RandomHousePub for a complimentary e ARC of #Maureen upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Maureen and Harold live a quiet life after Harold’s famous and highly publicized trek across England. Maureen is restless, though, and after she receives a strange letter, she decides that she must make a journey of her own.

Maureen is more of a companion read rather than a sequel to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

My Thoughts:


Although Maureen is not affable and friendly like Harold, she is driven by her desire to come to terms with the past. She’s quite brave as she tentatively strikes out on her own, but she’s not sure of the roads or confident in following directions. Maureen is not an easy person to like as we’re quick to notice her rigidity As with most individuals that we take the time to really know, Maureen is relatable in many ways and her earnestness is endearing. On her journey, she gains confidence, makes her first friend, experiences hospitality and compassion, and confronts her grief.

Character or Plot-Driven?

Even though there are obstacles to overcome, at its heart, Maureen is a character-driven story. Creating complex and quirky characters is what Rachel Joyce does best.


Thoughtful themes in Maureen include finding yourself (yes, even as an adult), friendship, hospitality, bravery, resolve, problem-solving, independence, and grief.


Although Maureen can be read as a stand-alone, it will make more sense and be a richer reading experience if you’ve read the first two (Harold and Queenie).

Recommending Maureen

I’m enthusiastically recommending novella-length Maureen for fans of character-driven literary fiction, for readers who love The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and for those who appreciate stories with mature characters. Of course, book clubs will find a great deal to discuss here.

Related: Books I’ve reviewed by Rachel Joyce: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, Miss Benson’s Beetle, The Music Shop.

Other Novellas I’ve read.

My Rating:  5  Stars


Maureen by Rachel Joyce (cover)

More Information Here

Meet the Author of Maureen, Rachel Joyce

Author of Maureen, Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce is the 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 the New York Times bestseller Miss Benson’s Beetle, as well as a collection of interlinked short stories, A Snow Garden & Other Stories. Her books have sold over 5 million copies worldwide, and been translated into thirty-six languages. Two are currently in development for film.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Rachel was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards ‘New Writer of the Year’ in December 2012 and shortlisted for the ‘UK Author of the Year’ 2014.

You can follow Rachel on Instagram at rachelcjoyce, and find out more news at


Is this companion read to Harold Fry on your TBR or have you read it?

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  1. I enjoyed this very much as well. Poor Maureen, she wasn’t likeable at first, but she’s a very compelling character.

  2. Excellent review, Carol. I have read Harold, but not Queenie, although I plan to. I really want to read this one, so I guess I need to get to Queenie quickly. I didn’t know there was going to be a movie adaptation of Harold, so I will watch for that.

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