After its release two years ago, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry became a bestseller almost immediately, and was longlisted for the Man Booker prize. It’s one of those books I’ve been meaning to read since it came out, not only because of its brilliant title, but because it was thoroughly recommended to me by so many people. So I finally got around to reading it (or perhaps I should say listening, as I’ve got the audiobook), and I was not disappointed.
The premise of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is both simple and effective. Reeling from the news that an old friend of his is dying of cancer, Harold Fry, a pensioner from Devon, sets out to post a letter to her. And then he just keeps on walking. In fact, he decides to walk all the way from where he is now to Queenie Hennessy’s hospice. He sets out to walk from Devon to Berwick-upon-Tweed, in the hope that somehow the very act of walking with save her life.