Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold FryThe Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Harold Fry receives a card from former co-worker Queenie Hennesey telling him she's dying of cancer, he sets off on a 600-mile walk to see her.  He does this without a plan, a map, or a cell phone, in yachting shoes.  Harold is recently retired and exists with his wife in their home, in separate bedrooms for the past twenty years.

As he walks, Harold ruminates on his past and examines some of his regrets and choices, inspects his memories and stares into the cracks.  He encounters people, he learns how to eat roots and mushrooms, he learns how to tell which direction he's heading from the sun and the bark patterns on the trees. He evolves.

The writing is fantastic, and Harold's journey is inspiring.  He saves himself.  I won't ruin it for you by telling you whether or not he makes it to Queenie and what else happens along the way, but I will say this: the ending is not sad.

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