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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life.


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Reader Reviews


13 July 2017

This turned out to be another Marmite book with some people really loving it, while others found it to be really slow and boring. No-one actively hated the book which is good!

Those that enjoyed the book found it to be very unlifting and positive as an experience, whereas those who didn’t enjoy it found it the complete opposite. They found it to be very ploddy and depressing. Some people felt that he might have lost his mind during certain parts of the book, he certainly seemed to be having difficulty with the world around him, and even staying upright at certain points. Almost everyone was annoyed with his shoe choice, and his refusal to buy new ones. We felt that this was like the hairshirt that a traditional pilgrim may have worn, or maybe he felt that he had set out with them so he was going to finish with them? Maybe it gave the oddness of the walk a certain sense of normalcy to him to be wearing the same shoes and clothes? We enjoyed watching the journey that Harolds wife went on during Harolds pilgrimage. She certainly changed the way she lived and thought about things drastically, maybe more so than Harold does. We felt that her friendship with Rex gave her an insight into Harolds friendship with Queenie, it made her step outside the comfort of her own home and think about things other than her son. Overall we felt that there had been a general lack of communication with the family, both between Harold and his wife, and also between them and their son. This might have been why things went so spectacularly wrong with all the relationships prior to the pilgrimage. We felt that up until this point Harold was a bit of a stranger in his own life and his walk had nothing really to do with the letter, but more to do with him making a decision to change his life and do something positive to achieve something he felt was worthwhile. Although this walk appears to be all about delivering the letter and wanting Queenie to survive it could also be seen that the letter from Queenie was merely the catalyst to make Harold face up to the way he had lived his life and forced him to make that change. We also wondered whether Queenie wrote to anyone else to say goodbye, and if she did what they did about the letter? A few members of the book club really felt they might like one day to just walk out of their front door and just walk. This seemed to be a surprisingly popular thing to want to do amongst the group, and to be fair i think at some point pretty much everyone gets the urge just to walk away from the stress of everyday life and just to rely upon yourself, just for a little while at least. Overall we gave this book 7 out of 10.


14 November 2018

It was lovely “Feel Good” Story, unusual & thought provoking.

Easy to read – different!

Easy read a lovely story.

It is a refreshingly different story which caught my imagination. I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other and then relationship. It was engaging with gentle humour and very moving at times too. Highly Recommended.


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