TITLE: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
AUTHOR: Rachel Joyce
PUBLISHER: Random House
RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2013
TYPE: Paperback; 304 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 stars
Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning a letter arrives, addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl, from a woman he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. But before Harold mails off a quick reply, a chance encounter convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. In his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold Fry embarks on an urgent quest. Determined to walk six hundred miles to the hospice, Harold believes that as long as he walks, Queenie will live.
I found this book to be particularly moving, but not in a grand paradigm shift sort of way–more of a slow, subtle, “Oh, I see.”
Harold is a likable character and for the duration of the book I wanted nothing but the best for him. His wife, Maureen was a tid bit annoying but that was the point. In this story Harold walks… and walks, and walks. In fact, he walked so much that at times it did begin to feel a bit tedious reading it but I pressed on in hopes it would be worth it.
The ending was a little more anti-climatic than expected but in a way that makes you think, “Well, that’s life I suppose.” Sometimes we set out with these intentions of doing something and maybe we don’t fully understand them but we get up and we do them and sometimes it leads to something better. I think this book has a wonderful message– we do things and some people praise us, some people criticize us. Some people will love you for it, some will hate you, and many won’t even care. Sometimes we do things and they don’t turn out anything like we planned but the point is that we did them and it changed us. And well, that’s life I suppose.
This book can be purchased from our partner Sage Owl Books.