Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

I found The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce to be an absolutely delightful read! What seems to be a rather simple, mundane story of a middle aged  man walking many miles to see a dying friend slowly transforms into a story of love, connection to others and, above all, forgiveness.

Summary: Harold, a middle-aged retired man in a stale marriage, receives a postcard informing him that a former co-worker and friend, Queenie, is dying in a hospice home. He heads to the mailbox to mail a reply, instead finding himself embarking on an epic journey to visit his friend. Throughout his journey, he meets people who inspire him to look at his life in a completely different way.

This book is written so very simply that I fear many readers may turn up their noses and choose not to read it. However, I believe that much of the beauty in this novel is indeed the sheer, wonderful simplicity. How many times in our lives have we set out on what appears to be a "normal" day only to have our lives turned upside down by an occurrence or a revelation? I found myself cheering Harold on throughout the books ups and downs, desperately wishing for him to reach Queenie and receive his miracle. There are few characters in the hundreds(ahem, thousands?) of novels I have read in my lifetime which touched me the way that Harold did. I do believe I will tuck him into my heart and take him with me on the rest of my life's journey.

Quote of the book(Extraordinarily hard to choose!): "Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique, and that this was the dilemma of being human."

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you liked it! Nothing better than a friend loving the same things you do!