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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harld Fry

I was attracted to this book, “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce automatically. I have a thing for long titles.  When I read the flap and found it was about an old man trying to save a woman from his past from cancer by walking all the way to Northern England from Southern England, I knew it was something I had to read.

I waited until it was available through interlibrary loan because I have a book buying problem (well, not problem, money deficit disorder perhaps) and within a month or so it was in my hands.

Joyce introduced me to Harold, a lovely retired British man that lost control of his life at some point rather sedentary and boring. We also meet his wife Maureen, who clearly detests Harold and spends all her time cleaning. She used to cook and garden and love her husband she wanted to make him happy and fill the gaps in his life.

The story switches between Harold and Maureen, as Harold walks to Queenie to “save” her and Maureen deliberates about her life. They both go through life transformations that were both painful and joyful to watch.

This is Rachel Joyce’s first book and it is lovely. It flows beautifully and I felt like I knew Harold and Maureen very early on. I won’t spoil the end, but it is satisfying and complete. This book will stick with me.


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