There's been lots of buzz about Rachel Joyce's debut novel - The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
Harold lives in the southern part of England. He is a quiet man, who has tried to keep a low profile in life, preferring not to draw attention to himself. He has recently retired and now stays at home with his wife Maureen, filling the days with small, mundane tasks. But, the relationship between himself and Maureen is growing increasingly fractious. One day the post arrives - with a letter from someone named Queenie Hennessey. Queenie and Harold worked together many years ago, but haven't kept in touch. Queenie is dying and has written a good bye letter to Harold. Harold feels he should send a reply, so he does and dutifully sets off to mail it straight away. Except.....when he reaches the post box, he decides to post it at the next box. And then he has an epiphany - why not deliver the letter in person? And if he can walk the 600 miles to Queenie - she won't die. And that moment marks the beginning of Harold's pilgrimage.
"Tell her Harold Fry is on his way. All she has to do is wait. Because I am going to save her, you see. I will keep walking and she must keep living."
As Harold walks, he begins to remember and recount his past, much of which he has chosen to repress.
"It surprised him that he was remembering all this. Maybe it was the walking. Maybe you saw even more than the land when you got out of the car and used your feet."
With just the clothes he had on when he left the house, Harold is forced to step outside of his comfort zone and interact with those he encounters. Many of these people are 'stuck' as well. Harold seems to grow a little bit more with every connection and every step he takes. Harold's journey has an effect on Maureen as well - although she is not walking, she too is on a journey of self discovery.
"In waking, he freed that past that he had spent twenty years seeking to avoid, and now it chattered and played through his head with a wild energy that was its own. He no longer saw distance in terms of miles. He measured it with his remembering."
Do yourself a favour - take a walk with Harold - it's a road worth travelling. Read an excerpt of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
Fans of Lori Lansens' The Wife's Tale would enjoy this book.
And thanks to the great folks at Random House, I have a copy of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to giveaway. Open to US only, no PO boxes please. Simply leave a comment to be entered. Ends July 28th.
Check out what the other bloggers on the TLC tour thought. Full schedule can be found here.
I'd love to walk with Harold~!
Sounds like a great read, I like that it's about the journey as much as the destination. Thanks for the chance! Liene @ LLucane at yahoo dot com
what a lovely book. Perfect. many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com
This appealing book sounds ideal for summer. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com
What a great story. I can see this becoming a modern classic. Please enter my name for the chance to win a copy. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx
It sounds like Harold is an exceptionally well written character.
I would like to know more about Harold.
lag110 at mchsi dot com
This sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway.
myra0502 at yahoo dot com
Sounds like an awesome read! I'd love to be entered to win this one.
mlawson17 at hotmail dot com
I'm specifically drawn to "pilgrimage" books. I'd love a copy of this one, and I recommend "The Memory of Running" by Ron McLarty as another to read.
I'd love to read this, thanks for the giveaway! Pam
Harold's walk reminds me of Forrest Gump's taking up running - he sounds like a character I'd like to discover more.
tmyoung at rochester dot rr dot com
This book sounds interesting. I don't think I could walk that far to deliver a letter. I would love to read the book. Please enter me. Thanks!
I love this idea! I learned about this book through someone in my book club. Thanks for the giveaway!
Sounds great! Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail dot com
This sounds like a fantastic read and I love when characters leap off the page. Although it seems like it has the potential to make me cry so I think I'll just read it at home and not out in public
Harold sounds like a great character to read about!
I'm so glad to see that this was such a wonderful read for you!
Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.
Harold sounds like a great person to walk along with! His story must be magical and what a great giveaway.
It sounds like and amazing story.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com
I'd really like to try one of your recommendations and report to my book club the Runaway Readers.
This looks like a great book.
This sounds like a great book.
Shaunda.Eppes at gmail dot com
Sounds like a charming and thought-provoking book. I'd love to win!
Thank you for the giveaway :)
I love when character's jump off the page. Thanks for the giveaway.
dancehottie1621 at aol dot com
This sounds like an amazing book. I would love to see what happens to Harold.
Sounds like a terrific book.
This would be a great lazy summer weekend read.
AWESOME RELAXING SUMMER READ.
I'd love to join Harold on his walk.
Sounds like a great read!
sounds like a good one! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com
Sounds like a great book to read.
I would love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway.
looks like a great email@example.com
sounds like a great book
jim.coyne2 at verizon dot net
A few weeks ago I heard about this book. Ever since I've wanted to read it.
Thank you for the giveaway. The books sounds awesome!
tridingermckee at gmail dot com
bring on the summer reading by the pool thanks raymondw45@Aol.com
thanks ..love to read in the summer
willdebbie97 at yahoo dot com
Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!!
This book sounds great, I hope I win! liliesrnice at gmail dot com
I'd like to have this.
Tim Moss, firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope Harold gets there in time to save Queenie. Thanks for the opportunity.
This sounds like a great book!
i would love to win this and i can't wait to read it
susansmoaks at gmail dot com
Never heard of this book. Your review and the excerpt makes you fall in the Harold world wanting more!
Wow this book sounds very appealing (and cute).
It sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway. email@example.com
This sounds like a great book!
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