Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (by Rachel Simon: Adult Fiction) © 2012

 

Rating: 3.5/5

Summary: Newly retired Harold Fry of Kingsbridge, England has led a quiet, simple, and all too boring life. An unexpected letter from a dying friend, Queenie Hennessey, however, changes his routine existence. Believing written correspondence is inadequate, he sets off on foot to see her. Now suddenly, Harold’s life has purpose, convinced that his 500-mile walk will keep her alive! His journey’s solitude and physical demands provide him with the quiet and challenge needed to foster personal reflection. Moreover, each personal encounter helps Harold uncover his life’s true spirit and purpose.

Review: The story progresses deliberately slow to reflect Harold’s pace during his journey to see Queenie. At times, the slow pace was nerve racking. That being said, understanding that a pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance; one realizes that this type of personal growth takes time to unfold. Overall, it’s a great story that deals unflinchingly with the challenges of lifelong commitment to relationships and beliefs. The  book’s message focuses on the value of friendship, humility, self-forgiveness, and human kindness. I, personally, can’t think of themes more poignant for novel to based upon.

Read-a-likes: If you are interested in books whose story revolves around pilgrimages, I’d recommend the following books: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

Availability: This novel is available through the Lake Bluff Public Library in print, eaudiobook, and ebook formats.

Reviewed by: Valerie

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