Janel’s #CBR4 Review 64 The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
This book was the first book I read after being in the hospital for 6 weeks. I started it during the Thankfully Reading Weekend over the Thanksgiving holiday.
In a lot of ways, this book reminded me of the book Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand as they both have an elderly gentleman as the main character. But it is not just the age of the character, but the sense that the character breaks out of his shell and tries to change his life. The concept of a modern day pilgrimage is one that we don’t hear of very often and yet we all can relate to the determination and longing that Harold Fry demonstrated that one morning.
It is hard to read about a long standing marriage that has turned into a convenience without looking for similar marriages in our own lives. I appreciate the sensitivity the Joyce provides around Maureen realizing that Harold is her one true love and how she encouraged him to keep going even at her own heartbreak and longing for him to be back at home.
Harold’s stubbornness is endearing as he tries to stay true to his original mission even when others capitalize on his failure. His desire to live just on what he is offered along the pilgrimage takes his quest to a new level. Joyce delivers a touching and poignant story that will stay with the reader even after they finish the book.