The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry

I really wanted to like this book after hearing about it from other bloggers and just enjoying the sound of the blurb. Harold Fry receives a letter and starts walking across the country to save someone’s life.

However, the writing style of Rachel Joyce and I just couldn’t get on. Each character Harold seems to come across has wise things to say,which I found hard to believe, and the descriptions tested my disbelief suspension on a line-by-line basis.

“It was a perfect spring day” even when followed-up by more description grated on me.

“The iced water broke over his teeth, his gums, the roof of his mouth, and rushed to his throat. He could have cried at the rightness of it.” Using the word “broke” so close to “teeth” just didn’t work for me, it made me edgy. And he “cried”, of course he cried he had just broken his teeth.

After four weeks of weekly renewals I gave up on Harold Fry. Rachel Joyce got in the way.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry was not for me.


  1. Oh, pity you didn’t get on with this book. It happens!

    I very much enjoyed this book. It wasn’t as happy-go-lucky as I’d expected.

    Well, I had problems last week with The Red House by Mark Haddon. Very nearly abandoned that one. Have you read it?

    1. Author

      Hi Judith,

      I haven’t read the Red House but if it was exciting enough to abandon then I might check it out. I wanted to like Harold Fry, particularly because I kept hearing how sad it was, but it was too slow. There is something about the writing that just didn’t do it for me. Maybe another time it will work better. I think if I had it on ebook I probably would have read a lot more but with a library book I have to make an extra special effort to carry it around with me and find time which I mostly don’t have. A pity.

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