Feb 20, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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Our book choice for the next meeting is "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce. ( We decided not to read Pride and Prejudice for anyone keeping track) A summary follows:
The unlikely but lovable hero of Rachel Joyce's remarkable debut novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, doesn't call his walk a pilgrimage. He never even calls it a hike, which would suggest planning, a map and hiking boots, all of which Harold lacks.
It takes him 87 days to walk from one end of England to the other, 627 miles, including mistakes and diversions. And all this by a 65-year-old retired sales rep, whose wife reminds him the farthest he had ever walked was to his car.
But when a woman he had once known but not seen in 20 years writes to say she's dying of cancer, Harold takes his inadequate response to the nearest mail box. Rather than mailing it, he keeps walking, dressed in a tie and yacht shoes, although no yachts are involved.
He phones his mystified and furious wife, saying it isn't enough to just post a letter. He will walk to see his old friend, Queenie Hennessy. He phones her hospice to say, "Tell her Harold Fry is on his way…I will keep walking and she must keep living."