The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

Editorial reviews

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a wonderful book. It highlights the capacity of human beings to live with illusions that permanently scar them and, sometimes, irrevocably alter the trajectory of their lives for the worse.

The boldest part of The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry is the ending, which brings the whimsical premise into the cold light of reality. Joyce artfully crafts a finale that’s simultaneously tragic and uplifting, a perfect ending to the fulfilling journey on which she leads her readers.

A rumpled retiree determines to walk 500 miles, believing his hope-filled steps will keep his dying friend alive. The premise seems quaint and predictable, but morphs gracefully into a smart, subtle, funny, painful, weirdly personal novel.

Rachel Joyce’s first novel sounds twee, but it’s surprisingly steely, even inspiring, the kind of quirky book you want to shepherd into just the right hands. If your friends don’t like it, you may have to stop returning their calls for a little while until you can bring yourself to forgive them.