Book Twenty-Nine: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

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One day, Harold Fry receives a letter out of the blue with some rather unsettling news. It’s from his ex-colleague Queenie, who he has not spoken to in twenty years. She is dying of cancer in a hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed. She was kind to him once and so Harold quickly writes her a letter sending his condolences. As he walks to the postbox to post it, he can’t help but think that his letter offers nothing. So he keeps walking. And walking. Somewhere along the way, he decides that he must walk all the way from Devon to Scotland to visit Queenie in person, for no letter he could ever write will say what he wants to say. And so begins the unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry – an adventure, a pilgrimage, a walk of redemption and solace. He believes that his walk will save Queenie and so leaving behind his wife, he sets out to repay her for her kindness and save her life. 

This book is a must read – it’s one of those books that is charmingly heart warming, funny, touching, sad and deeply moving all at once. One of those rare books that I so love! I don’t want to give away too much, but it had me laughing and crying and also gripped from the beginning! The plot doesn’t sound all that engaging at first glance but it is in fact extremely absorbing as we learn all about Harold and Maureen’s relationship and the highs and lows of their marriage. The ending is extremely bittersweet but also extremely moving – if you liked The Fault in their Stars then you will like this, in fact I would say you will love this because the writing is much better! I was expecting this book to be a bit run of the mill, but it exceeded all my expectations and I’m keen to read Rachel Joyce’s second novel Perfect to see what else she has up her pen wielding sleeves! 

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