BOOK REVIEW | Bookworms Discussion of ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce



The eight members of The Bookworms discussion group meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. under the leadership of Judy Rosenberg of Brighton Memorial Library. We’ve been together for two years now, and are grateful to Judy for delivering books to each of us and for steering the discussion. She also provides us with background information about the author.

SUBJECT: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
AUTHOR:  Rachel Joyce
PUBLISHER: Random House
ACCOLADES: Long-list finalist (top 12) for the 2012 Man Booker Prize; Joyce won the UK National Book Award for New Writer of the Year for the book; best-selling hardback book in the UK from a new novelist in 2012
RATINGS: 4.4/5 | 3.9/5 | Barnes & Noble 4.2/5


All of the Bookworms were cheering for Harold Fry as he and his blistered feet trudged 600 miles to reach his old friend.

A letter from Queenie telling him she was dying of cancer was the impetus for this trek as he felt that a reply by mail was insufficient. He came to believe that Queenie would stay alive as long as he walked to deliver the letter in person.

As he left his unhappy marriage and nagging wife behind him on this solitary journey, we joined him in his memories as he reconstructed his past. Harold’s mission was filled with many surprises, trials and tribulations, encounters with fascinating people and courage he didn’t know he had.

We all agreed this well-written, suspenseful book was an excellent choice and one we thoroughly enjoyed.

Next month’s choice is ‘The Art of Hearing Heartbeats’ by Jan-Phillip Sendker.

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