The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye

Today the Book it Sisters reviewed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye by Rachel Joyce
(Published July 2012, 320 pages)
Book it Sisters’ Grade: A


Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old friend in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.

Recently retired, sweet, emotionally numb Harold Fry is jolted out of his passivity by a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old friend, who he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. She has written to say she is in hospice and wanted to say goodbye. Leaving his tense, bitter wife Maureen to her chores, Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but instead, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must deliver his message in person to Queenie–who is 600 miles away–because as long as he keeps walking, Harold believes that Queenie will not die.

So without hiking boots, rain gear, map or cell phone, one of the most endearing characters in current fiction begins his unlikely pilgrimage across the English countryside. Along the way, strangers stir up memories–flashbacks, often painful, from when his marriage was filled with promise and then not, of his inadequacy as a father, and of his shortcomings as a husband.

Ironically, his wife Maureen, shocked by her husband’s sudden absence, begins to long for his presence. Is it possible for Harold and Maureen to bridge the distance between them? And will Queenie be alive to see Harold arrive at her door?

Samantha HarrisonAI enjoyed reading this and seeing the relationship as it evolved with the absence of being together and the changes that occurred as they reevaluated the past.
Mary HalseyAThis was a hard read for me but the journey was worth it. I found the unpredictable adventure brought healing this couple needed. Queenie was a saint.
Suzanne RigbyAI enjoyed this book very much. I thought it was a wonderful character study and the power of human faith and determination. I was so happy that Harold and Maureen were able to regain their love story.
Cheryl ClowesAI really enjoyed this story of Harold. I liked the style of the author and it drew me in. I was sad that the son had passed away and the effects this had on the couple. I was glad the couple was getting together in the end too. The descriptive qualities of the author's writing.
Anna McDanielsAWell written story about a personal voyage that changes a life and those around him. I enjoyed it!
Judy BushAPoignant story about a man that makes a life changing trek. We could all use a little time to re-evaluate our lives. Sometimes very sad, but hopeful in the end.
Silke ElsnerAliked the British language, there are a lot of philosophical nuggets worth reflecting.
Denise LinkBInteresting reflection on how tragedy can pull us away from the ones we love instead of bringing us together.

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