The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

A Novel

eBook - 2012
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When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hovering 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.
Publisher: [Toronto, Ontario] : Doubleday Canada, 2012
ISBN: 9780385677707
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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j
JustaThot
Feb 24, 2020

This is a gentle and well-written book about life transitions forced upon an older couple just by virtue of their having lived into their 60s. Harold Fry is informed that a co-worker from years ago is dying, and he sets out to see her before that happens. Along the way, many truths surface after years of being closeted in places we humans choose not to visit. Harold's trip is also colored by the people--and dog--he meets along the way. I highly recommend this as a reminder that we all have our secrets.

d
duckcalldan
Jan 12, 2020

Old man in UK gets a letter from a woman dying, and then starts a pilgrimage to find her.

The Between the Lines Book Group will be reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry in June 2020.

l
lola_jane
Dec 23, 2019

I was at times both frustrated with Harold and rooting for this unlikely hero. His trek across the country is matched by an internal journey in which he reflects upon his relationships with his son, wife and strangers. Joyce doesn't soften this reflection - we see all of Harold's mistakes and weaknesses. But the beauty of the novel is that somewhere along the walk, amidst all of the sorrow, pain, self-doubt, Harold is able to recapture hope and desire to truly live again.

A book and character with a lot of heart.

sjpl_DanaLibrariana Sep 28, 2019

This book was not what I expected, but I truly enjoyed it nonetheless. The author did a great job creating a cast of characters with whom we can relate. It's a book about stepping outside of comfort zones, facing demons and the hard work of confronting grief and loss.

o
OP_2
Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / April 2016

c
celiawhite99
Aug 03, 2019

Very enjoyable (audio book)

h
Havanacat
Dec 28, 2018

People. A well-written novel of friendship and atonement.

g
glotet
Oct 26, 2018

In the course of her writings, the author offers up little truisms under the guise of her character's personal development along the way of his travel destination. Some of these give pause for personal reflection.

LPL_KateG Sep 17, 2018

I found this book to be unexpectedly deep. It's not ONLY a "feel good read," it's also a smart and interesting take on loss, commitment, and finding one's self at any age. If you enjoyed this one, make sure to check out the partner book, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by the same author.

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Liber_vermis
Jun 03, 2016

"Life was very different when you walked through it." (p. 40)
"Harold thought of the people he had already met on his journey. All of them were different, but none struck him as strange. He considered his own life and how ordinary it might look from the outside, when really it held such darkness and trouble." (p. 143)

PimaLib_SherrieB Nov 15, 2014

The world was made up of people putting one foot in front of the other; and a life might appear ordinary simply because the person living it had been doing so for a long time.

b
BPTADiscusses
Nov 29, 2013

They believed in him. They had looked at him in his yachting shoes, and listened to what he said, and they had made a decision in their hearts and minds to ignore the evidence and to imagine something bigger and something infinitely more beautiful than the obvious.

g
ghreads
Dec 27, 2012

“He understood that in walking to atone for the mistakes he had made, it was also his journey to accept the strangeness of others. As a passerby, he was in a place where everything, not only the land, was open. People would feel free to talk, and he was free to listen. To carry a little of them as he went. He had neglected so many things that he owed this small piece of generosity to Queenie and the past.”

g
ghreads
Dec 27, 2012

“It must be the same all over England. People were buying milk, or filling their cars with petrol, or even posting letters. And what no one else knew was the appalling weight of the thing they were carrying inside. The inhuman effort it took sometimes to be normal, and a part of things that appeared both easy and everyday. The loneliness of that.”

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Thehippogirl25
Jun 13, 2015

Thehippogirl25 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

h
hbrewer
May 21, 2014

hbrewer thinks this title is suitable for 40 years and over

DanglingConversations thinks this title is suitable for 40 years and over

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APlazek Feb 27, 2013

This quiet novel from a new author feels very reserved and British (and it is). Harold Fry receives a letter from an old co-worker who he has not spoken with in over 20 years informing hm that she has terminal cancer. Upon reading the letter Harold knows he must espond so he crafts a letter and heads out to post it, but along the way meets a girl working in a gas station and explains about the letter. The girl tellls about her aunt who had cancer and says, "You have to believe.... trusting what you don't know and going for it." Something from that conversation touches him and Harold decides he must walk to the Queenie Hennessy -- if he walks she will not die befroe he gets there. The story is mysterious and sparse yet incredibly inspiring and heartwarming. Slowly along the way the story of Harold's relationship with his wife unfolds and we learn about their son, David in bits and pieces. It is not until the end that everything comes together and it is a sad picture of how much time can be wasted with misunderstanding and hurt, yet hope remains.

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