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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

A Novel
Joyce, Rachel (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
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Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love 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.
Authors: Joyce, Rachel
Title: The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry
a novel
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 320 p. : map ; 22 cm
Summary: Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love 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.
Awards & Distinctions: Booklist Editor's Choice 2012
ISBN: 9780812993295
0812993292
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Statement of Responsibility: Rachel Joyce
Subject Headings: Walking Fiction Men Great Britain Fiction Great Britain Fiction
Genre/Form: Humorous fiction
Topical Term: Walking
Men
LCCN: 2011052581
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Aug 18, 2014
  • cheadlebeagle rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This is a light summer read and was quite touching in places and thought prevoking. I'm glad I read it but I am not as swept away by it as a lot of people; it's a bit long too.

A good although rather slow moving story about Harold Fry making sense and coming to terms with his marriage, his depressed son and his life in general through a long unplanned walk to visit an ill friend.. It always held my interest but there is nothing earth shaking in this novel---it's just a good read.

Jul 11, 2014
  • motherhen2 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Amazing read. The commenter who suggests that the book lacks conflict has really missed the point. Or never heard of "man vs himself". Easy to read novel - not predictable - excellent messages about faith and hope and despair - layered metaphors. The book engaged me and was a flowing read.

Jul 10, 2014
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Longlisted for the Booker, this is the story of an ordinary man on an extraordinary journey who is learning to understand and live again. It is charmingly written but in the end, a little too twee.

charming and a great summer read

Jun 26, 2014
  • chrypink rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This is a story about an old man attempting a very, very long walking trip without proper shoes, without a credit card, without a phone and without much sense.
There's very little conflict in this story apart from the blisters on his feet.
Bit of a disappointment.

I plugged along this book because of the numerous positive reviews but remained unimpressed to the end. Sure it's well written, but I also found the whole thing very fuddy-duddy. Am I supposed to be touched by all these scenes when these extremely reserved Brits break through the layers and manage to express a shred of emotion? Some parts were definitely borrowed from Forrest Gump.

Apr 29, 2014
  • librariankaren rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved how the story unfolded. It is peeled back layer by layer until you get to the heart of the mystery. It's poetically written, and still manages to move right along. It's about regret and grief, so is quite sad, but lovely.

Apr 23, 2014
  • denise99 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Inspiring and wonderfully well written.

A very enjoyable read. Very skillfully written, with a compelling narrative and a mystery or two that come together in the end. Quite an emotive read as well.

Joyce is deft at delightful turns of phrase and often clever and dense expression that at times requires one to slow down or even reread a passage. The book is full of metaphor, some apt and sometimes obscure double entendre and most importantly an inspiring examination of the meaning of the power of life, love and memory even when experienced by someone many would consider insignificant. Joyce knows her craft.

As many point out here, the novel will best be appreciated by an older readership with some life lessons under their belt. I am looking forward to her next novel, Perfect.

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May 21, 2014
  • hbrewer rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

hbrewer thinks this title is suitable for 40 years and over

Mar 12, 2014
  • BTVS rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

BTVS thinks this title is suitable for 40 years and over

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Feb 27, 2013
  • APlazek rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This quiet novel from a new author feels very reserved and British (and it is). Harold Fry receives a letter from an old co-worker who he has not spoken with in over 20 years informing hm that she has terminal cancer. Upon reading the letter Harold knows he must espond so he crafts a letter and heads out to post it, but along the way meets a girl working in a gas station and explains about the letter. The girl tellls about her aunt who had cancer and says, "You have to believe.... trusting what you don't know and going for it." Something from that conversation touches him and Harold decides he must walk to the Queenie Hennessy -- if he walks she will not die befroe he gets there. The story is mysterious and sparse yet incredibly inspiring and heartwarming. Slowly along the way the story of Harold's relationship with his wife unfolds and we learn about their son, David in bits and pieces. It is not until the end that everything comes together and it is a sad picture of how much time can be wasted with misunderstanding and hurt, yet hope remains.

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Nov 29, 2013
  • BPTADiscusses rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

They believed in him. They had looked at him in his yachting shoes, and listened to what he said, and they had made a decision in their hearts and minds to ignore the evidence and to imagine something bigger and something infinitely more beautiful than the obvious.

Dec 27, 2012
  • ghreads rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“He understood that in walking to atone for the mistakes he had made, it was also his journey to accept the strangeness of others. As a passerby, he was in a place where everything, not only the land, was open. People would feel free to talk, and he was free to listen. To carry a little of them as he went. He had neglected so many things that he owed this small piece of generosity to Queenie and the past.”

Dec 27, 2012
  • ghreads rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“It must be the same all over England. People were buying milk, or filling their cars with petrol, or even posting letters. And what no one else knew was the appalling weight of the thing they were carrying inside. The inhuman effort it took sometimes to be normal, and a part of things that appeared both easy and everyday. The loneliness of that.”

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/08/29 09:56