This is the story of an ordinary man who receives a letter from a dying friend – a woman he lost contact with twenty years ago, but who had done him an immense favour before she moved away. When he sets out to mail her a note of condolence, he finds that he cannot simply send it – he must find a better way to express his grief and guilt over their lost friendship. So he decides to walk the length of England – over 600 miles – as if by continuing to walk, he will convince her to continue to live. This is the story of Harold Fry’s pilgrimage across the English countryside, the people he meets, the people he leaves behind, and the lessons he learns along the way.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
A marvelous novel about the charms we weave to keep hope alive. Clearly Harold’s journey is an allegory for life, and everyone he meets along the way has something to teach him. As people unburden themselves to Harold, he learns to open himself up and accept the help of others. The barriers to honesty that he had built up over the years fall away as his journey progresses. We also loved the vivid descriptions of the English countryside, and the careful way the author allowed Harold’s backstory to unfold. But we wish the author had told us the joke that Harold shared with his future wife the night they met. Highly recommended.