One day Harold Fry receives a letter from a colleague, Queenie Hennessy, whom he last saw 20 years ago, telling him she has cancer and is in a hospice 500 miles from his home town. On his way to post a response, Harold decides walk the 500 miles to Queenie in an act of faith and a bid to save her life.
So begins The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, a tale of faith, hope and forgiveness from the demons of the past. This debut novel from Rachel Joyce was long-listed for the Booker prize in 2012 and explores the themes of friendship and redemption as Harold deals with the mistakes he made in his life, the way he failed his son and his own rejection by his alcoholic father.
It is an emotional read, but the construction is excellent and the characters are well rounded. If you can handle the rollercoaster from laughter to tears, this one is worth the time.