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Linda M. (Three Oaks, MI)
Harold and Maureen
I really loved this book. It was beautiful and funny, an introspective story that says it’s never too late to discover life and love again. A letter from an old colleague set Harold Fry on an improbable quest to walk across England and save an old friend from death’s door. Every step forward was a journey into the past showing us how life had molded Harold and his long suffering wife, Maureen, into the two individuals living together but insulated from each other and the world around them. It’s an inspiring story and one that will not be forgotten for a long time.
Jean N. (New Richmond, OH)
Off to post a letter......
This book really touched me. I know that I will never forget it. Although Harold didn't start out with a plan, his determination to reach his destination despite all the odds against him, the heart wrenching memories that he recalled as he walked, day after day, and the challenges that plagued him caused me to really care. I felt like I was walking with him. I couldn't stop turning the pages. I had to know what was going to become of Harold.
Jean G. (Rockford, IL)
It was also a story of Harold's wife, Maureen, who was waiting at home- not knowing if Harold was ever going to return. I didn't like Maureen at first, but as she recalled her past, I ended up caring about her too. I felt these were real people who were reaching a turning point in their lives- and I had to know how it was going to turn out.
Harold was a man who was totally unlikely to make such a bold journey- his courage both in walking and in remembering was awesome.
There were amusing parts in the book as well. Some of the characters Harold met, and the situations they got into were comical. Of course, when the media found it's way into the pilgrimage, it was bedlam.
I'm glad I read this book. I am anxious for my friends to discover Harold Fry.
An implausible premise of a journey on foot turns entertaining and almost believable due to the main characters' likability. Credit the author's talent for beautifully written realistic prose that gets into Harold's head and captures the essence of his thoughts so we can identify with his search for the meaning of his life. You will care what happens to him, as life (as we know it in all its failings) gets in the way of his goal. Book clubs will find much to discuss about what happens as life passes us by.
Pam L. (Indialantic, FL)
Map to Come
What a concept. I love Harold Fry, the unlikely hero of the debut novel by Rachel Joyce. This novel is the epitome of the expression "stop and smell the roses." Harold's journey is about regret, forgiveness and most absolutely, love. Harold's pilgrimage is reflective, heart -breaking, and most of all about hope and faith. The ending is almost pitch perfect. Harold Fry has something to teach everyone. Brew a pot of tea, sit down and savor "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce.
Gigi K. (Lufkin,, TX)
I'd like to read it again!
I was struck by the title first and then as I read the book, I was reminded by so many of Harold's episodes of truths in my own life. Seems impossible since my life has been nothing like Harold's. However, I think you will find some echos, also.
Zonetta G. (Winter Springs, FL)
This is a beautifully written book. Rachel Joyce expresses eloquently the hope and faith in life we all hold close inside. Harold and Maureen show us that who we are today is a result of the suppressed memories and grief and sorrow of our past as well as the small memories we've forgotten. This is a sweet, sweet story and I would highly recommend it to book clubs. I loved it.
Jill M. (Petaluma, CA)
Poor Harold Fry. He was the victim of rotten parents and a tragedy that squelched a romantic marriage. His irrational decision to embark on his journey yielded unexpected results. i got bogged down half way through, but couldn't put the book down for the second half. It's filled with symbolism and life lessons and worth reading.
Deborah C. (Seattle, WA)
Charming and Delightful
If you liked Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, this is the book for you! The story is heartwarming, and just when I thought things might be getting a little too sentimental, the author interjected a welcome dose of dry British humor.
I would recommend this for book clubs, as many interesting questions are raised about why Harold embarked upon his "unlikely pilgrimage" as well as the many characters he meets along the way.
This is the author's first book, but I certainly hope it's not her last!