Thursday, 30 August 2012

Book review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold FryThe Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was recommended to me by my Mum, and our local book shop Booka.
It's not normally the kind of thing I read but I was looking forward to it, everyone I'd spoken to about it absolutely loved it.
It's a fairly simple story. Harold Fry is a retired man, living unhappily with his wife in Kingsbridge. He receives a letter from a woman named Queenie who he used to work with and decides to write a letter back to her. Only, he doesn't post it, he continues walking to Berwick Upon Tweed. We follow Harold on his journey, his ups and downs and the people he meets along the way.
At first, I thought each chapter followed a basic pattern, which disappointed me a bit. Harold met someone, walked a bit and reminisced about an old memory, normally involving his wife or son. The memory often turned out to be depressing. But as the story continued and Harold's pilgrimage evolved into something much bigger than he had anticipated it became better. The people he met brought the story to life and the problems he faced were realistic. In most books, the hero would walk all the way in yachting shoes and have no problems at all, but it detailed Harold's injuries and obstacles. The whole time I willed Harold just to buy a pair of walking boots, but Harold wasn't that kind of person.
Overall, this book is a lovely, simple story, filled with happy, sad and surprising moments. It makes you think about how you live your life, what's important to you and what you'd do for those you love.

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