Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book review: The Unlikely Pilgramage of Harold Fry

Another Wednesday, another book report!

If anyone would like to come over to my house and join me as I beat the hell out of my modem, that would be super-cool. You know what slowly but surely robs you of grace and dignity? An entire day of dial-up-esque Internet speeds.

But you know what book moves at a slow yet lovely pace?

That would be The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel. (How was that for a fancy segue?)

Harold is a retiree, a nobody who gets a letter in the mail from someone he used to work with. His former coworker is in hospice, and was just saying goodbye. Harold sets off to mail his reply ... and then becomes convinced that if he delivers the letter in person, he can keep his friend alive.

And so, Harold walks. Hundreds of miles in yachting shoes, with no cell phone. His wife is beside herself. What sort of crazypants idea is this?

The book unfolds slowly, carefully - like getting to know and appreciate an introverted person.

I don't want to share too much, as the beauty of this book is in how the story unfurls. I had a little trouble getting into it, because, after all? On the surface, it's just a lot of walking. But Harold's life, and his history with his coworker, the relationships with his wife and son - they are all told with love and brutal honesty.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is just a lovely little book. I give it 4 sauntering labradoodles.
Huge thanks to reader Karen for recommending this book about 17 years ago. My to-read pile is now only slightly taller than me. What great books should I add to it?

3 comments:

Cinny said...

I agree that this is a lovely read ... reminds you to pay more attention to the journey.

slow panic said...

I listened to this book several years ago and really enjoyed it. It's one that comes back to mind quite often.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I read it with my book club and we all ADORED it. Harold was terrific and the people around him were all so interesting, too. It reminded me a bit of when Forrest Gump starts running, y'know?