Monday, May 26, 2014

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce

I got the recommendation for this book from a blog I follow.  The blog's author reflects on retirement and full time RVing and posts reviews of the books she reads.  This one was highly recommended.

Harold Fry is a recently retired man that receives a note from a former co-worker who is dying in a hospice. He decides he needs to go to her and takes off walking totally unprepared for 600 miles across England to see her before she dies.  He leaves his bewildered wife, the two of them living a lonely marriage after their only child, a son, had left many years ago.  His journey opens him to seeing the life still has meaning and love can survive.

Some quotes:
People [were doing ordinary things] and what no one else knew was the appalling weight of the thing they were carrying inside.  The inhuman effort it took sometimes to be normal, and a part of things that appeared both easy and everyday.  The loneliness of that.
Beginnings could happen more than once, or in different ways.  You could think you were starting something afresh, when actually what you were doing was carrying on as before.
I enjoyed the story as Harold reflected on his life while traipsing across the country solo.  As he gets closer to his goal he gets some "groupies", reminding me of the people that followed Forest Gump as he ran across country and I wanted him to leave them behind instead of taking responsibility for their devotion.  They eventually separate and Harold meets his old friend before she dies.

It is a story of attempted redemption and the the possibility of second chances.  A touching tale worth a read.

Published:  2012  Read: 2014  Genre: Fiction

1 comment:

  1. Rachael,

    First I want to thank you for the comment on my review of this same book. I found it interesting to read your review...very good. We all take such different things away from the books we read. I suppose it is all about life experience and our age.

    Be well.



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