Book Review – “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce

unusualpilgrimageofharoldfry  Title:  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Author:  Rachel Joyce

Synopsis (from bn.com): Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning a letter arrives, addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl, from a woman he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. But before Harold mails off a quick reply, a chance encounter convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. In his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold Fry embarks on an urgent quest. Determined to walk six hundred miles to the hospice, Harold believes that as long as he walks, Queenie will live. A novel of charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise—and utterly irresistible—storyteller.

 

My thoughts:

A huge thank you to my book club for picking this as our September book!  They are always bringing new books to my attention that are outside of my normal genre . . . and when it comes to books like “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry”, I am so very glad they point me in new directions.

I really enjoyed this book!  On the surface, yes it is a story of Harold Fry embarking on a lengthy journey to say goodbye to a former coworker.  However, when the reader truly looks under the surface, one will find a story much, much deeper.

For me this book really had wonderful deep themes weaving throughout the entire story.  It is a book about lost love, righting old wrongs, the power of hope, the power of believing, expectations, redemption, self discovery, self-reflection, relationships, guilt, new beginnings, and on and on and on.

The author takes a very simple story and through it takes the reader on their own journey!

I felt that the author developed many of the characters well, however there were a few characters whose development felt either unfinished to me (David, Harold/Maureen’s son) or that they were somehow plopped in the story and just left too soon (the group of people Harold meets that join him on his pilgrimage).

I felt that there was a great depth to the story and that the author truly exemplified the old adage, “it’s not the destination but the journey that matters” through this book!

I highly recommend this book!  A great fast read with a truly heartwarming story that takes the reader on their own personal journey if they allow that to happen!!

Do yourself a favor and give this book a try!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Filed under Book Club, Book Reviews, Fiction

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