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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

A Novel

by Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce X
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2012, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2013, 368 pages

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There are currently 29 reader reviews for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
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Kathy

An ordinary man's extraordinary journey
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is the beautifully written story of an
ordinary man's extraordinary cross-country walk to make amends with an old
friend. During Harold's journey, I found myself wishing and praying
that Harold finds his way, in more ways than one.

This is a heart-warming tale that you will tell friends and family
they must read.
Emily

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
I loved this book the first time through -- the language was often eloquent, with subtle humor intertwined with profound observations on the human condition. I recommended it for my book group, so I read it again, and loved it even more. I was therefore surprised and disappointed to find that no one -- not one -- in my book group liked it; in fact, there seemed to be an element of active hostility toward it.

The main problem seemed to be getting past the unlikely premise of Harold taking off to walk without any forethought or planning -- but what a shame then to miss the sweet journey as Harold learns about himself and others he meets along the way. While this book can be read superficially as a simple tale of a man walking, I personally think there are a lot of very thought-provoking themes -- love, faith, honesty among them -- to be explored. I'm sorry the rest in my book group didn't enjoy this book, but, for myself, I'll be thinking about Harold, Maureen, and Queenie for some time to come.
Rita H. (Centennial, CO)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
This is a truly excellent book. I thought it sounded rather an odd story when I first heard about it but was captivated by the end of the first chapter. There are so many excellent life messages in this book which Harold and his wife Maureen learn along the way. Just a brief quote as an example: "Harold was ready for surprise, whatever form it took. Such freedom was rare." I truly, truly recommend this book.
Nancy G. (Newton, KS)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
As we enter the world of Harold Fry, we are taken down a road of self-revelation and discovery that will hold the reader in its grasp. Like the peeling of an onion, each new chapter brings us more of his story. Starting out on an unlikely journey to a dying friend, Harold tries to overcome his own personal demons in the process. Leaving behind wife and friend, we walk in deck shoes through the English countryside and towns on this unlikely quest while enduring blisters, heat and despair. The people Harold meets along the way add a richness to this story as they cause him to change his tightly controlled outlook on life. As with pilgrimages of yore, there is a revelation to be had. As the characters and past finally take focus, we find sorrow, love and redemption. This book had a profound impact on me. Harold has much to teach the reader along his pilgrimage of life and love and regrets.
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.
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.
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.
Zonetta G. (Winter Springs, FL)

Beautiful
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.

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