When a letter arrives for Harold Fry, he is shocked to find that it is from an old colleague and friend, Queenie Hennessy. It seems Queenie is in hospice with cancer, and she has written to say goodbye. Harold struggles to compose a return letter. As he walks to the end of his drive to mail the letter, he hesitates and decides to walk to the next post box instead. Then he walks to the next. Soon he decides that if he walks all the way to Queenie herself, she will keep on living.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce is an absolutely wonderful story of a man's journey ~ both physical and emotional. As Harold walks, he thinks about his life, his time with Queenie, his marriage, his son. He thinks about the good and the bad and the choices he has made. He also meets a great many people from all walks of life. They help him to see his own life from a different perspective.
As Harold walks, his wife Maureen is left behind, struggling to understand why her husband has left her and where she is supposed to go from here. I love the fact that Maureen has her own journey throughout this novel, changing and growing along the way. Harold's walk also affects many of the other characters in different ways.
This is a beautiful work of literary fiction. There's not a lot of action ~ just a lot of walking! But the characters and their interactions and the way they change along the way keep the pages turning quickly. If you are a fan of literary fiction, I highly recommend The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I think it would make an excellent book club selection as well.
My Rating: 5/5
This review was written based on an advanced reader's edition of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry that I received from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
The publisher has graciously offered a copy of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce as a giveaway for one of my readers. This contest is only open to US addresses (no PO boxes). To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below. The giveaway ends at midnight EDT on July 14, 2012.
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