Books

Publication Day – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce

When Harold Fry leaves home one morning to post a letter, with his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other.

Today is the day you can get your hands on this book, I reviewed the book back here in January and it has still stayed with me ever since. I have taken some excerpts from my review, but please when you have the time have a read both of my review and the book.

Newly retired, Harold Fry receives a letter one morning from Queenie, a woman he used to work with; she has written to say that she is nearing the end of her life. After much soul searching Harold drafts a reply and goes out after his breakfast to post the letter. However he gets to the first post box and rather than post the letter he keeps on walking onto the next, suddenly he finds himself making an unlikely journey by walking from his home in Devon to Queenie in Berwick on Tweed.

The book follows the journey, as he makes the decision to walk the distance in the hope of proving something to himself, saving someone and ultimately having a purpose in life.

One of the turning points in the story comes when others wish to join such a pilgrimage and it then becomes not about Harold’s journey to reach Queenie but everyone else walking, making a statement, making a journey. It was at this point that I felt the book was painful to read, these parasites on Harold’s journey caused him pain both physically and mentally

My personal reflection and comments:

… debut novel this is very good, it is a book which I do not think I would have picked up but the cover and the title struck a chord with me. I think everyone is on a journey of sorts and perhaps they do not recognise or acknowledge it and for that I felt connected somehow to this book. 

I became infuriated with those that stuck to Harold for their own glory and it was a reflection of how the media can latch onto a story and miss the whole point of it

This book has also been picked as one of the Waterstones 11; the pick of the best debut novels in 2012. Although I was quite secretly pleased to have read this one long before they chose it.

In todays world of Social Media this book has its own Facebook page  and has been trending on Twitter #haroldfry and @Harold_fry.  Jim Broadbent (who would make an excellent Harold) voices the video trailer.

You could think it is overkill perhaps  but actually it is just a great way of generating interest in a book. Just like me in the blogging world I hope I have generated some interest and I look forward to hearing what others have to say about the book.

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One thought on “Publication Day – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce

  1. You have created enough interest for me to add this title to my wishlist. I must have missed your original review in January when I was away from home. I like the original sound of this.

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