Review: De onwaarschijnlijke reis van Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce

De onwaarschijnlijke reis van Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce cover
Recently retired, sweet, emotionally numb Harold Fry is jolted out of his passivity by a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old friend, who he hasn't heard from in twenty years. She has written to say she is in hospice and wanted to say goodbye. Leaving his tense, bitter wife Maureen to her chores, Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but instead, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must deliver his message in person to Queenie--who is 600 miles away--because as long as he keeps walking, Harold believes that Queenie will not die.
So without hiking boots, rain gear, map or cell phone, one of the most endearing characters in current fiction begins his unlikely pilgrimage across the English countryside. Along the way, strangers stir up memories--flashbacks, often painful, from when his marriage was filled with promise and then not, of his inadequacy as a father, and of his shortcomings as a husband.
Ironically, his wife Maureen, shocked by her husband's sudden absence, begins to long for his presence. Is it possible for Harold and Maureen to bridge the distance between them? And will Queenie be alive to see Harold arrive at her door?

Rachel Joyce has written over 20 original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, and major adaptations for both the Classic Series, Woman's Hour and also a TV drama adaptation for BBC 2. In 2007 she won the Tinniswood Award for best radio play. She moved to writing after a twenty-year career in theatre and television, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, and Cheek by Jowl, winning a Time Out Best Actress award and the Sony Silver.

I had this book on my nightstand for over a year and I am ashamed. There should be a club for people who leave brilliant books on their nightstand for that long and feel bad afterwards because they are so good and you should read them. If you have this book on your nightstand please read it now.
Harold is such a lovable character. I love his determination and his idea. I do feel he needed this for himself to feel worthy again. He is easy to connect to because his ideas are out in the open and simple to understand. I did feel a bit sorry for Maureen. Imagine having taken care for a man for years and all of a sudden he runs of to save another woman. There are some side characters that play important roles in decisions made. It is usually obvious from the moment they come into the story where they are going to take it or what they will mean.
The development in the story is done very nice. You get pulled into a story and at first I was wondering what exactly was going to happen but soon the story settles and developments start. I was pushing Harold trough the story he had to make it and I was engaged so deep that I got frustrated when other people got in the way.

De onwaarschijnlijke reis van Harold Fry
Author: Rachel Joyce
Publisher: Cargo
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 9023476069
ISBN-13: 9789023476061
Original title: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Cargo: eBook | Paperback
De onwaarschijnlijke reis van Harold Fry

4 stars

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leeswammes
AUTHOR
20 October, 2013 delete

I enjoyed this book, too! I'd like to join your club, because the books I have left the longest are usually the best. Even if they don't look nice. :-)

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20 October, 2013 delete

Count me in for your club! It also took me way too long to get around to reading this book! I finally read it in connection with an online book group, and I loved it! I agree -- I also felt like I was in a cheering squad for Harold and got really annoyed by some of the people who got in his way. Such a lovely story. It really snuck up on me, and even made me cry a bit (which was a bit embarrassing, since I was reading it on a plane!). Great review! I'm glad you loved it too. :)

Lisa

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Melinda
AUTHOR
21 October, 2013 delete

I'm definitely joining that club, because I do that all the time!

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22 October, 2013 delete

I loved this book! I read it last year, and I'm hoping to pick it up again at some point. I don't have too many brilliant books left on my nightstand; most of them are waiting for me on my kindle these days!

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Isi
AUTHOR
22 October, 2013 delete

I'm also in the club! :)
In fact, I also have this book and I'm looking forward to reading it; I know that it will happen to me too: I will love it and I will wonder why I hadn't read it before!

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