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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Posted: by Emma on July 15, 2015

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

A simple story that is unlike anything I have read before. This lovely little book involves a pilgrimage, a journey of spiritual and/or psychological significance, in this case one made unwittingly by Harold Fry.  Harold is searching for a miracle.

The book begins with an elderly gentleman, our protagonist - Harold Fry, who receives a letter from an old friend and learns that she is dying in a hospice. Harold sets out to mail her a letter in response but when he gets to the mailbox...he just keeps walking.  He starts to believe that if he is somehow able to walk from one end of England to the other (over 1000km) and reach the hospice, he can save his dying friend, Queenie.

Sometimes it is what happens along the way, rather than the destination itself, that matters. Harold uses the long days of walking to reflect on his life, and begins to realize the importance of those he left behind.

The writing is very simple and although the narrative can be slow at times, keep going!  You will want to find out what is in store for dear, old Harold Fry. Will he complete his long journey?  Will he reconnect with his wife, with whom he shares a house but not a life? Will he hear from his estranged and troubled son? And the biggest question of all, by making this pilgrimage, will Harold Fry save Queenie?  This book demonstrates the ideas of self-realization through selflessness, and the power of letting go.  A great book that was so popular, the author even wrote a companion novel: The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

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