28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
A modern pilgrimage,
This review is from: Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Paperback)
Harold Fry, retired brewery employee and married to Maureen, receives a letter out of the blue from a former colleague, Queenie Hennessy. She is in a hospice in Berwick on Tweed and doesn't have long to live. Harold writes her a letter and sets out to post it but for some reason he doesn't quite understand he keeps walking. After talking to a girl in a petrol station he decides to walk to Berwick on Tweed even though he lives in Devon and he is determined Queenie must live to see him for the last time.
What follows is the story not just of Harold's journey and the people he meets along the way but of his life, the mistakes he feels he has made and the people who have mattered most to him. But things don't stand still while he is away from home and Maureen starts to examine her own life and considers how she has contributed to her own unhappiness.
The book is well written and thought provoking novel and it reduced me to tears on several occasions. But it is not a sad story overall and there are many amusing incidents and some marvellous minor characters who will stay with you long after you have finished reading.
I liked Harold himself because he is not afraid of examining his life and his character. He is not perfect and he knows there are things he could and should have done differently. As well as being a pilgrimage his walk is an attempt at atonement for his past sins and when others start to join him he finds they too have a story to tell of mistakes made and actions regretted.
Journeys are a favourite topic for novelists as is escape from claustrophobic life situations. Geographical distance can lend objectivity but it also reminds people that they cannot escape from what goes on in their own heads and what is contained in their own memories. If you enjoyed these The Spring Madness of Mr. Sermon Major Pettigrew's Last Stand Mr. Rosenblum's List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman then you may enjoy this one
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 26, 2012 12:35:31 PM PST
Thank you for the great review.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 1:03:26 AM PST
Thank you for the compliment!
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