The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry


Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old friend in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.

Recently retired, sweet, emotionally numb Harold Fry is jolted out of his passivity by a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old friend, who he hasn't heard from in twenty years. She has written to say she is in hospice and wanted to say goodbye. Leaving his tense, bitter wife Maureen to her chores, Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but instead, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must deliver his message in person to Queenie--who is 600 miles away--because as long as he keeps walking, Harold believes that Queenie will not die.

So without hiking boots, rain gear, map or cell phone, one of the most endearing characters in current fiction begins his unlikely pilgrimage across the English countryside. Along the way, strangers stir up memories--flashbacks, often painful, from when his marriage was filled with promise and then not, of his inadequacy as a father, and of his shortcomings as a husband.

Ironically, his wife Maureen, shocked by her husband's sudden absence, begins to long for his presence. Is it possible for Harold and Maureen to bridge the distance between them? And will Queenie be alive to see Harold arrive at her door?

Title:The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:320 pages

    The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Reviews

  • Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
    Sep 26, 2012

    The Harold Fry that leaves to mail a letter to his dying friend is drained by life, full of self-loathing and incapable of mending his ruined marriage. ‘For years they had been in a place where lang...

  • Lisa Kay
    Jan 20, 2014

    Found at The Sunday Edition:The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is the story of one man's faith in his feet. (OneEighteen/photopin) So well narrated by the wonderful Jim Broadbent. If you'd like to ...

  • Richard Derus
    Feb 25, 2014

    Three star review has moved to Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.But really, there are better ways to spend your eyeblinks than reading this mawkish treacle....

  • Jennifer
    Jan 04, 2016

    stil mulling this one. sometimes i really liked it and other moments i was...a little bored. there was definitely an overuse of "put one foot in front of the other" that verged on becoming a drinking ...

  • Michael
    Feb 13, 2015

    Harold Fry has never done the unexpected, having spent the last 65 years living a quiet sheltered life. Retired for the last six months Harold shaves each morning and puts on a tie only to sit in the ...

  • Isabelle
    Jan 21, 2013

    I have just browsed through a bunch of reviews that are literally glowing with praise, so I feel rather embarrassed that I cannot be more enthused about this novel.I was really taken in by the premise...

  • Lynne Spreen
    Jul 21, 2016

    I just finished this lovely book, and I'm never going to forget it. To those who say nobody wants to read about "old people", I'd say, read this book. The fact is, as long as you're alive, you should ...

  • B the BookAddict
    Nov 26, 2015

    What to say about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry; a lovely read, a phenomenal book, exceptional and captivating. How I lingered over this book; read it slowly to truly savour and appreciate the...

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    Oct 26, 2012

    I fear I am heartless.Some people I respect as readers give this book five stars and I just can't.Basically, it is about a man taking a walk. Beginning, middle, end. He gets bad news about an old frie...

  • Alison
    Jan 05, 2013

    "Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique; and that this was the dilemma of being human."I just finished this book on New Year...

About Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce has written over 20 original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, and major adaptations for both the Classic Series, Woman's Hour and also a TV drama adaptation for BBC 2. In 2007 she won the Tinniswood Award for best radio play. She moved to writing after a twenty-year career in theatre and television, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, and