Monday, June 8, 2015

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce

I have learnt over the years that when Meredith recommends a book, it is worth reading, and I was delighted to again discover how similar our tastes are when I read a book she recently praised.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is just marvellous. One day Harold, a recent retiree, receives a letter from an old work colleague, Queenie Hennessey. She is dying of cancer and gets in touch to say she remembers him as a good friend. Writing what he knows is an inadequate response, he heads out to post a reply letter. Finding himself unable to actually put it in the box, he walks on to the next box, yet passes it again and continues on. By the end of the day, he has decided to walk to see her, 600+ miles from the south-east of England to the north-west.

As he keeps walking, he slowly becomes aware of the vastness of the country around him and the variety of people he meets. At the same time, he begins to remember the varying details of his life, his wife Maureen, his son David, his job and his friendship with Queenie.

Having left his wife Maureen behind, and seeing how she deals with this sudden change of events, we then read of things from her perspective – what she thinks of what he has done and her view on the state of their marriage.

The wonderful part of this book is what happens to the characters along the way, and their interactions with each other. But if I revealed anymore, it would spoil it for you. However, if you also have liked some of my or Meredith’s book recommendations over the years, definitely try this one!

I will also follow her advice and read the companion volume after a few months gap rather than straight away!

No comments: