A heart-warming work of fiction with lots of wisdom
“If we don’t go mad once in a while, there’s no hope.”- Rachel Joyce, The Unexpected Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Before I go into the review, let me tell you how I discovered this book. I was mesmerized by the book A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman. Who wouldn’t? A realistically heart-warming story that makes one cry and laugh at the same time. So I wanted to find a book that had such a simple, beautiful yet powerful story. Google gave me a couple of recommendations and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was one of them. If you loved Ove, then I would definitely recommend you to take a walk with Harold.
I loved the purity and unique beauty of this uplifting tale. At first I wondered how I could possibly get involved in this apparently absurd story. But it was a quick read and full of pleasant surprises and many special moments.
One fine morning, a retired old man Harold Fry sets out to post a letter to his old colleague and friend, Queenie, who suffers from a grave illness. But he spontaneously decides to head-off in her far away direction. And so Mr. Fry ends up setting out on a 500 mile walk to visit his friend.
“But maybe it’s what the world needs. A little less sense, and a little more faith.” -_Rachel Joyce, _The Unexpected Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
What I loved the most about this book is its simplicity; the hero is not a rich and good-looking guy…he’s just a person with flaws like you and me; the plot isn’t complicated and the author doesn’t give you a hard time with unbreakable words. It’s an unembellished story of an ordinary man who embarks on the journey of a lifetime.
The Unexpected Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is an introspective story and deals with a lot of issues quietly. Rachel Joyce expresses the most complex life lessons in subtle ways. It will strike a chord with lots of people. This is the kind of book that would be best for discussions and book clubs because there’s a lot to ponder over.
At times, it felt like I was reading a non-fiction book with lots of valuable insights. This is one of the few books that I felt has a great touch with reality and the bitter-sweet nature of life in general. For some readers, however, this might serve as a major turn-off.
Harold’s journey is both physical and metaphorical. Here are some beautiful, untinted quotes on journeys, hope, faith and life.
“Beginnings could happen more than once, or in different ways.”
“If we can’t accept what we don’t know, there really is no hope.”
“But maybe it’s what the world needs. A little less sense, and a little more faith.”
“The people he met, the places he passed, were all steps in his journey, and he kept a place inside his heart for each of them.”
“You could be ordinary and attempt something extraordinary, without being able to explain it in a logical way.”
“The least planned part of the journey, however, was the journey itself.”
“If I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, it stands to reason that I’m going to get there.”
“You got up, and you did something. And if trying to find a way when you don’t even know you can get there isn’t a small miracle; then I don’t know what is.”
“The past was the past; there was no escaping your beginnings.”