Amy's Reviews > The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
by Rachel Joyce
by Rachel Joyce
Jun 21, 12
Read in June, 2012
Some novels are so monumental that they change reader’s lives and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce is unquestionably one of those novels. Harold, recently retired, seems a bit out of sorts. His wife Maureen doesn’t seem to have any patience for him and is even annoyed by the way he butters his toast. When a letter from a long lost coworker Queenie Hennessy arrives to inform him that she is in hospice dying of cancer Harold instantly writes a response that he intends to post immediately. Harold sets out on foot to the nearest letterbox but instead finds himself walking on to the next and the next. Along the way he stops for a snack and is inspired by a young woman working at a garage who explains that faith saved her aunt from cancer. Harold decides to walk to Queenie, no small feat since she is six hundred miles away, and believes as long as he is walking she will live. What follows is not only his incredible journey, filled with unusual characters and curious events, but also a period of reflection on his life and the many ways feels he has failed as a son, a husband, and a father. Tremendously insightful and extraordinarily realistic, readers are apt to explore their own selves as they follow Harold in his journey of self discovery. Joyce is a superlative storyteller, and she has created a simply unforgettable character in Harold Fry. Filled with astute sensitivity of the human condition as well as surprising plot twists, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a truly unforgettable read, and Rachel Joyce is a writer to watch.
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