TLC Book Tour: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry — and a Giveaway!

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Published:  2012 by Random House

Source:  Received from publisher for review

Harold Fry is a man who doesn’t garner much notice.  He is retired and lives a quiet, uneventful life, yet still manages to get in the way of the obsessive cleaning rituals of his wife, Maureen.

Until one day when Harold receives a letter from a former co-worker, Queenie Hennessy, someone whom he hasn’t heard from in over 20 years.  Queenie is writing from a hospice to let Harold know she is dying from cancer and she that she wants to say good-bye.  This news greatly affects Harold; he instantly regrets not trying to contact her sooner, and he writes her a note in response.  Putting on his windbreaker, he tells Maureen he is just stepping out to the postbox at the end of the road, but when he gets there he decides to walk to the next postbox, then the next one; and before long he decides that he is going to walk to visit Queenie in person – a journey of several hundred miles.  He changes his note to tell Queenie that he is on his way, and believes that while he is walking to see her she will not die.

Along the way Harold encounters many people who support his cause and eventually his walk takes on a life of its own, with media coverage and corporate sponsorships.  But even as this happens, Harold is determined to get to Queenie on his own terms, because he has to make something right with her before she dies.

Between the narrative of Harold’s walk and flashbacks to his work life with Queenie and his family life both as a child and with Maureen and their son David, the amazing ordinariness (I know that’s probably not a word) of Harold is displayed and that makes his truly epic journey stand out so much more.  When a “very famous actor” offered him the use of his car and driver to reach Queenie faster, Harold thought to himself that he needed to let him know that “you could be ordinary and attempt something extraordinary, without being able to explain it in a logical way.”  And that’s where I suppose the “pilgrimage” part of the title comes in — Harold is in a sense making a sacrifice for a greater good in his own mind.

I absolutely loved this novel and couldn’t help but fall in love with Harold Fry.  This was a man who did not have the best life but did the best with what he had.  He made me laugh and made me cry, and he proved that grand gestures can come out of the simplest things.

Highly recommended.

For other opinions of this novel please be sure to visit the other stops on this blog tour.

GIVEAWAY!!!

The publisher has graciously offered a copy of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to giveaway to one lucky reader in the US or Canada (sorry rest of the world).  If you are interested, please let me know in the comments and I’ll draw a winner at random on Tuesday August 14.

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14 Responses to TLC Book Tour: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry — and a Giveaway!

  1. Leeswammes says:

    I always get annoyed when I find that a giveaway is not for me (Europe). I mean, how much can it cost to send a book abroad? I don’t know. Anyway, not your fault.

    Just wanted to say this sounds like a great book that I also want to read so it’s good to hear that you loved it.

  2. anne says:

    Thank you for this wonderful giveaway which sounds captivating and special. I would enjoy this delightful novel.

  3. ellie says:

    I am interested in this lovely book. Memorable and beautiful.

  4. zibilee says:

    I just got this one, and after reading all the great reviews, I can’t wait to read it! It seems like it’s one of those quiet books that just knocks your socks off, and I want to experience that for myself. Fantastic review today. You have managed to make me even more exited about it than I had been!

  5. Laura Lanik says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book as I hear and read so many great things about it. Thanks for the opportunity. booksnobsblog at gmail dot com

  6. debbierodgers says:

    Would love to read this – have been hearing the buzz!

  7. Leslie says:

    I read this one and liked it a lot too. Harold was such an inspirational character.

  8. Jaime H. says:

    I think this book sounds amazing. The fact that he is an ordinary person seems to be what really makes the story so relatable and touching. Thanks for the chance!

    twistingthelens@gmail.com

  9. Kathy R. says:

    Your review has made me really want to read this one. I would love to win a copy of it! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention and for the chance to win it.
    Kathy R.

  10. pburt says:

    Definitely interested in this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. Melissa Mc says:

    Would have totally passed this by based on the cover — glad I didn’t over look it!! Would love to be entered!

  12. nfmgirl says:

    This is one that was quickly added to my Wish List as soon as I heard of it. Thanks!

  13. Thanks for being on the tour!

  14. Pingback: Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, on tour July and August, 2012 | TLC Book Tours

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