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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

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“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
(Hebrews 11. V.1)
Perhaps some might find this a strange quotation with which to introduce the Book Club’s holiday reading of “ The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” but it is apposite in many ways, not in the sense of faith in a religious sense but of faith in achieving a goal.
This is a book, which reminded us of “Pilgrim’s Progress,” which we had read earlier in the year and it also had some of the flavour of “Canterbury Tales” as we met some of the characters with whom Harold made an acquaintance along the way. There are all kinds of religious parallels to be made, although that was not, perhaps the author’s intention.
This was an easy read if not a comfortable one. Everyone at our September meeting had liked the book, even if they had not enjoyed all of it. With some it touched a nerve or remembrance of past regrets; others, more prosaically, had had to reach for the road atlas to trace Harold’s journey. But this could be regarded as a compliment to the author’s writing which made it all seem probable.
Certainly, we enjoyed the easy flowing style of writing and, even when the pace seemed to lessen and we felt we were struggling a little, we realised that this was deliberately done by the author to represent Harold (and us) being burdened by belongings, people and the trappings of the modern world, especially the media.
This is a book partly about relationships and misunderstandings, about generosity and kindness. A book which draws you in and involves you in the stories not only of the main characters but of the seemingly minor ones, who make a massive impact on another’s life. It also showed how cynical we can become, when we misunderstood/ misinterpreted the relationships and intentions of some of the characters, suspecting something wrong when the opposite was the case. There is always a surprising twist to the tales.
We liked the book because we could identify with and recognised so many of the characters, the descriptions of the countryside were delicate, yet vivid, and not overly long – just enough for the reader to see and recall.
It would spoil your enjoyment of the book to go into detail. Suffice it to say that we would recommend you acquire a copy and make the time to join Harold Fry on his unlikely pilgrimage.

Author: Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

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Catalogue Image See also
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
  • Pilgrims Progress
  • Proverbs
  • The Lifeboat
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry