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I love Harold Fry!
le 19 décembre 2012
Harold Fry receives a letter from a long lost friend, Queenie, who is dying in a hospice. Something has taken place in the past between Queenie and Harold and he believes he owes Queenie a debt, so he writes her a letter. On his way to post it, his journey to the nearest letterbox extends to the next, and the one after that, and the one after that. A chance meeting puts the idea into his head that if he walks from his home in Devon to the hospice where Queenie is at the other end of England, she will not die.
Stopping at a phone box to call the wife with whom he shares a bleak and lonely life to let her know what he is doing, off he sets. He is not just ill-equipped for such a journey; he is not equipped at all. His shoes will fall to pieces and his stamina will falter, but Harold will not give up. He must walk all the way to Queenie if she is to survive.
As Harold tramps doggedly on the reader is given a look into his domestic life which is haunted by the son who never comes to visit his parents.
In his unsuitable attire and state of decrepitude, Harold is a laughing stock to many people, but as his journey progresses he begins to attract media attention and becomes a cult figure. An assortment of uninvited misfits and crackpots join him on his pilgrimage.
I loved this book on many levels. Harold himself, gentle, humble, dignified, determined. Having walked a similar distance myself, solo, and been mocked, cared for and joined by an unwelcome follower, I could relate to him there. I shared his loneliness, his hardships, his small triumphs and his joys. His route happened to pass within half a mile of where I once lived, so I felt a connection with Harold there too.
Harold's unlikely pilgrimage is a heart-warming tale of faith, regret and hope, with some laugh-out-loud moments.
One of my favourite reads of 2012.