The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


The book I've just finished is usually the one I write about, but this newly-released paperback has stuck with me over the weeks since I first read it. The elderly and increasingly endearing Harold Fry is surprised to receive a note from an old friend, Queenie, who is in hospice care 600 miles from his village in England.  How he, and not so incidentally his wife, respond to this message, makes for a revealing and moving novel, filled with mini portraits of a varied cast of characters. A tale of love, loyalty, aging, dreams, failure and redemption. And just enough uncertainty about the outcome to make this unlikely pilgrimage a compelling journey.

— Mary

This  funny, poignant, wise book is gracefully written. Though there
is a savage twist, it never feels manipulative or cloying. Recent
retiree Harold Fry receives a note from Queenie Hennessy, a woman he
hasn't seen in twenty years. She is in hospice, six hundred miles to the
north of Harold's small English village, and she has written to say
goodbye. To his wife's distress (just another annoying thing Harold is
up to, like buttering his toast wrong), he sets out to post a reply. As
he walks, he keeps going to more remote mailboxes. After a chance
encounter with a young woman at a garage, he comes to believe that, if
he walks to Queenie, his pilgrimage will save her life. He
meets many other people with hearts as battered as his own, and the
reader is drawn in as if on his remarkable journey with him. I could
not stop reading; I had to know what would happen to this hapless
gentle soul.

— Bobby

This  funny, poignant, wise book is gracefully written. Though there
is a savage twist, it never feels manipulative or cloying. Recent
retiree Harold Fry receives a note from Queenie Hennessy, a woman he
hasn't seen in twenty years. She is in hospice, six hundred miles to the
north of Harold's small English village, and she has written to say
goodbye. To his wife's distress (just another annoying thing Harold is
up to, like buttering his toast wrong), he sets out to post a reply. As
he walks, he keeps going to more remote mailboxes. After a chance
encounter with a young woman at a garage, he comes to believe that, if
he walks to Queenie, his pilgrimage will save her life. He
meets many other people with hearts as battered as his own, and the
reader is drawn in as if on his remarkable journey with him. I could
not stop reading; I had to know what would happen to this hapless
gentle soul.

— Bobby

August 2012 Indie Next List


“'He walked so surely, it was as if all his life he had been waiting to get up from his chair.' Recently retired Harold Fry receives an unsettling letter from a co-worker from years past. Queenie is dying in hospice and when Harold sets out to post a return letter, he is seized by the idea that if he keeps walking, Queenie will live. So begins a pilgrimage of personal transformation for Harold - and quite possibly for the reader as well. Insightful and touching, this journey will stay with readers for quite some time.”
— Julia MacDonald, The Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, VT

Product Details
ISBN: 9789866319501
Publisher: Ma Ke Bo Luo/Tsai Fong Books
Publication Date: September 6th, 2012
Pages: 304