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Leonicka Valcius

Leonicka Valcius: September 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I do. I have read other “literary” books about the personal journey of older white men and I always find them incredibly dull. So I was pleasantly surprised when Harold’s story gripped my heart.

It is the simplicity of the text that’s moving. Like the prose, Harold is unassuming. After decades spent on the sidelines of his own life, Harold finally decides to do something. His pilgrimage across England becomes more than an attempt to save his friend. It is an opportunity for him to reexamine the peaks and valleys of his life and rediscover who he is. 

“I want to come home, Maureen. You were right. I can’t do it. I don’t want to.”

This book was not an emotional roller-coaster (though I did sob through the last 30 pages) and it’s not filled with sudden plot twists. But it is a book that will stay with me. It is a book I will pick up every time I stumble on my own journey, every time my goals seem just out of reach.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry has been long-listed for the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. You can enter to win a copy here.

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