Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Before our road trip through England, I searched for the perfect book to take along on the iPad. I wanted a book set in England that would compliment our travel route and Harold Fry was the perfect companion. At the beginning of the novel, Harold receives a note from a woman named Queenie, a brewery co-worker from his distant past. She has dictated her note to a worker at the hospice where she has presumably gone to die. Harold writes back and tells his insecure and cloying wife that he is walking to the post office with his note. But when he gets there, he decides to walk to the next post office, and then the next – believing somehow that his walking is keeping Queenie alive. His unlikely pilgrimage becomes a sort of “Forrest Gump” mission, where he is joined by other unlikely pilgrims. As we motored along on the wrong side of the road through the English countryside, we passed towns that I had seen through Harold’s eyes already on the trip. Harold Fry’s story was touching, life affirming and perfect for this trip.
(See my next review for Rachel Joyce’s Perfect)