I saw the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry in the store a year or so ago, and as soon as I’ve read the back of it, I knew I must have it. However, it did take quite a while before I actually got it. I downprioritized it several times, knowing that it wasn’t as popular on the blogging sphere as for example The Infernal Devices, or John Green’s many books. But a couple of weeks or so ago, I finally ordered it and got it in the mail. And I’m so glad I did.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is one of the few books that left an impact on me that I did not expect at all. Because at the beginning of the book, it’s quite slow, quite boring and quite ordinary. And the thing is, it seems to be like that all the time, but little by little, the characters crept up on me, and especially Harold himself. Harold is a pitiful little man, whose only wish is to try to change someone’s destiny.
The plot wasn’t necessarily the best, nor the writing style of this book. The plot consists mostly of Harold putting one foot in front of the other, as he embarks on his journey from the very south of Britain to Devon. However, we do get to see glimpses from his past, and the story of exactly how he came to be friends with Queenie. It’s the backstory for Harold and his wife, Maureen, that’s the most interesting in the whole book, really. What happened, and how he got to the point of needing to walk.
To end this on a short note: I really, really liked The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. And although it wasn’t one of my absolute favourites, it was indeed very good. The slight tendency towards a boring middle and a rather plain writing style is what made me give this book four instead of five stars on goodreads.
Harold and Maureen both went into my heart as these elderly, completely loveable characters, even though at the beginning, it didn’t seem like they would. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a bit tired of the same old YA books, and is looking for a light adult read. Although the book tries to tackle some darker themes towards the end, it manages so perfectly well, without having to over-emphasize them.