The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
I read this book because my mom had to read it for book club and she thought I might like it. It’s a British book about a retired man (Harold Fry) who receives a letter in the mail from an old friend and spontaneously decides that he needs to walk to where she is (on the other side of the country). In doing so he leaves behind his wife and failing marriage and reflects upon all the things that have happened so far in his life.
I’m not sure how much I can say about this book without giving away important details. As he walks there are flashbacks where he relives things and comes to realizations about people and the world as a whole. His wife, suddenly home alone, comes to her own realizations about the world. Mostly this book is a lot of walking and thinking. There isn’t really much action or plot per say, just character development.
For some reason I keep reading foreign books about old men and in different ways this reminded me of A Man Called Ove and The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. Harold is just recently retired and has lost his direction in life. By finally doing something so different and radical (and very dangerous) he finds his direction and his life again.
I read this book very quickly (in one day). Although I might not recommend doing that, it is a rather fast read. There definitely was a point in the middle where it started to drag and he was getting lost and I just wanted him to get there already but overall it wasn’t too slow. At one point it reminded me of Forrest Gump where he starts running and unintentionally becomes famous and people want to join him on this big exciting thing that to him is not such a big exciting thing; it’s just what he has to do. I think my favorite parts of this book are probably the moments where we get to see his wife’s perspective and understand their history and how they got to where they are now.
I have to say that I actually really appreciated how the book ended. The two ways I saw it ending were kind of unsatisfactory but it didn’t do either of those things so I was satisfied. Also I’m a sucker for happy endings.
#24 of 2017
Look at me, I’m half way there! (this comment was made when my numbering was off and I thought this was book 25)
Also stay tuned, I’ve decided to post Monday to Friday this week in order to get slightly more up to date with my posts.