Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Book Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Author: Rachel Joyce
Enjoyment Rating: ***
This book would be rated: PG
Source: Library Copy
Books I've read this year: 115
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry has had a lot of buzz this summer and fall. When Harold Fry, recently retired from a career in a brewery on England's south coast, learns that his former colleague, Queenie Hennessy, is dying of cancer in a hospice in the far north of England, he writes her a letter and walks to the mailbox to send it. But he doesn't mail the letter; he keeps walking. For 500 miles and 97 days. The book explores both the journey and the events in Harold's life that have led to his quiet war with his wife, as well as their attempts at reconciliation.
I enjoyed the book, but I couldn't help but compare it with The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty, which also deals with an epic journey, a physical transformation, and repairing past sins, but in a more thorough and engaging way. Still, I think that The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry would be a fantastic great book group read-- it's relatively short, devoid of anything too offensive, and there would be plenty of material for good discussion.