Harold Fry has been retired for six months and now it seems that he’s at a crossroads. His wife is constantly nagging him, their son doesn’t talk to him, and his days all run into each other. When Harold receives a letter from and old co-worker, he’s shocked to learn that she is terminally ill. Harold sets out to send a letter but when he gets to the mailbox, his letter doesn’t seem like enough, he keeps thinking and walks to the next mailbox and then the next. Soon, Harold is at the edge of town, and he continues to walk. He vows to walk to Queenie, even though it’s a six hundred mile journey. He asks Queenie to wait, and gives her a reason to fight for her life.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry but I soon couldn’t put it down. When a man is walking six-hundred miles, he has nothing to do but reflect on his own life. It’s really interesting to learn about his troubles, and insecurities. Harold and his wife both miss each other, but they're so use to not showing affection that they're not sure how to react to one another. Both of them are not ready to take the first step. Harold left his house wearing the wrong shoes, he forgot his cell phone but he is delighted with the kind people he meets. It doesn’t take long for Harold to attract a following, but the quiet is really what he wants.
As Harold begins to reflect on his life, readers learn that his mother abandoned him, his father kicked him out, and he never really experiences a normal family life. Maureen really wanted to give him that, their life started out really happy and joyous but obstacles began to pile up. Harold’s intelligent son intimidates him and their relationship fell apart. Maureen and Harold began to forget the happy times, and Maureen moved into a different room. They no longer connected, and barely spoke.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was a great read. I kept rooting for Harold and Maureen and I wanted to scream at them for their stubbornness. Readers will immediately be captured by Harold and Maureen; they feel like real people, with real problems. Even though they are much older than me, I felt connected to them. Rachel Joyce really shines in her debut novel. This novel is about redemption and self-reflecting.