The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Rachel Joyce)


This book jumped out at me in the airport in Seattle. It was a quick, compelling read. It’s one of those books that really gets you thinking: as protagonist Harold Fry reflects on important and traumatic moments from his past, so does the reader end up contemplating their own choices, regrets, painful memories, and great loves and joys. It’s not all bad, but the kind of introspection Rachel Joyce’s novel invites tends toward the more intense.

The characters are complex and interesting, and they are very real in the sense that, like real people, they often find their words and actions to be at odds with their feelings. They lash out at the people closest to them, they shy away from interactions with other humans because of the hurt they feel inside, and they don’t always know how to be themselves.

It was a fast read, and I really enjoyed it. I’m glad I spotted it on the shelf while I waited for my flight!

GOOD FOR: People looking for a break, readers seeking an uplifting book, and fans of introspection.

BAD FOR: Anyone who wants a fast-pace read, people currently struggling with cancer in their lives or their loved ones’ lives, and those who are looking for adrenaline-style adventure tales.

GOOD WITH: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Hector and the Search for Happiness, and The Hobbit.

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