Lauren's Reviews > The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
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Aug 25, 12

Read in August, 2012

This is one of the most nearly perfect books I've read in a long time. The first chapter, actually, is absolutely perfect.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is the story of a man finally finding himself after years of living blandly, never saying the things he wanted to say or doing the things he wanted to do. He's an incredibly shy, private man without friends or family, estranged from his wife (though they live together, just in different rooms) and he's thoroughly lovable in a sad, pitiable sort of way.

When Harold receives a letter from an old friend who is dying of cancer, Harold can't find the words to properly say goodbye, and so he begins to walk to her - the whole 500 miles it takes to get from his home to her deathbed. It's probably the most irrational thing he's done in 20 years, but he's also thinking more clearly than he has in 20 years.

Harold Fry reminds us that while our stories may be no more than ordinary to the rest of the world, they are all we have an we simply must make the most of them. Ordinary really can be extraordinary, to barely paraphrase from the book.

My review will in no way do this book justice - the writing is amazing, fluid and clear; the characters are flawed and endearing; the book says just enough without saying too much; the insights are spot-on; the setting descriptions are vivid and beautiful - I mean, really, just set aside a Saturday afternoon and dive in.

Now excuse me while I go re-read that thrillingly perfect first chapter :)
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