21 June 2015

Pilgrims

“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” is a novel by Rachel Joyce. I read it in just two days – 357 pages.

The retired and ailing lower middle class hero of the novel sets off on a journey that he hadn’t intended or planned. Beginning on the south coast of Devon, he heads vaguely northwards, aiming for Berwick upon Tweed - some four hundred miles away. That is where a former work colleague is languishing in a hospice – victimised by cancer.
Harold Fry is in his yachting shoes when he sets off. He has his wallet and a letter from the hospice but little else.

Pilgrimages of the past were about plodding out the miles, meeting strangers along the way, mulling over life experiences, thoughts and feelings as much as they were about getting to the eventual destination. Not all pilgrimages were Christian. Stonehenge, for example, was certainly a place of pilgrimage many centuries before a Christian God came on the scene.

Rachel Joyce’s novel connects with those countless pilgrimages of yesteryear and as well as reaching the hospice in Berwick, Harold Fry is also unravelling and examining who he is, what is important to him and how he has been shaped by his past.

A great deal of his thinking surrounds his wife of forty six years – Maureen. When he set off, she had no idea that he was leaving but his departure causes her to scrutinise her own feelings and painful truths she buried years before.

“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” is quite a light read. It is easy to gobble up the pages – especially when one is on holiday. The book has its flaws but ultimately it is unashamedly humane, singing out with kind affection for those who live unremarkable lives. Like the people Harold meets along the way, everybody is different . You might say that behind our public facades, we are all like Harold Fry - trying to get by and generally failing to make much sense of our lives.
_____________________________________________________________

Meanwhile, a couple of pictures taken yesterday here in Crete:-
Old friends at the Taverna To Sokakai in Epano Sissi - a small inland village
The harbour at Sissi

19 comments:

  1. Can you imagine being asked by tourists if they can take your photo or have their photo taken with you ~ like animals in a zoo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sat with those two old friends and communicated with them. The old lady kissed my hand and I kissed hers and then I asked if it would be okay to take their picture..

      Delete
  2. It sounds worth a read. £3.66p on Kindle. I hope it doesn't have too many long words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. £1.49 from Oxfam Adrian. I think you would prefer the book I am currently reading - "The Life and Death of St Kilda" by Tom Steel.

      Delete
  3. That sounds like a good read to add to the list. Mind you at the moment just sitting in the warm sun anywhere doing anything would be a good addition to my list. Keep on enjoying your hols.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will obey your command Graham!

      Delete
  4. This sounds like a story I would really like to read. I've got it on my list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's nice and refreshing Red.

      Delete
  5. I agree...we're all Harold Fry in our own way. We each have our own individual pilgrimage...most of us aren't aware that we're on the journey.

    What we need to do is find the time to sit and ponder. a while..take a moment or two to look inwards, as well as outwards. By taking the time we'd realise and come to the understanding that the scent of the roses is a worthy reward.

    Thanks for the review, Yorky...and the food for thought. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you meet that book Lee. Don't get me wrong - it isn't deeply philosophical but it has a true and positive message.

      Delete
  6. Beautiful photos of Crete. I enjoyed that book too, and all the people he met on his long pilgrimage walk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very pleased to learn that you also enjoyed that novel Terra.

      Delete
  7. Sounds like a book I'd enjoy reading, thanks for the recommendation. Those "unremarkable lives" are - just like my own - the ones I find most interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who cares about boring celebrities? It is in the lives of extraordinary but ordinary people that you will find the most poignant tales. I am sure of that.

      Delete
  8. beautiful Good thinking. Im curious to think what type of impact this would have Pure Juvenate globally? Sometimes people get a little upset with global expansion. Ill check back to see what you have to say.
    http://www.healthsupreviews.com/is-pure-juvenate-new-scam/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I have to say is this Law Anna - Please stop intruding into people's blogs for greedy, commercial purposes. I am not alone in despising people like you.

      Delete
    2. Well said YP. I wonder if anyone has ever even opened any one of your links. I doubt it.

      Delete
  9. I really enjoyed that book when I read it last year and I recently bought a copy to senf to Kathy (Elder Daughter). Enjoy your holiday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes a lovely read Jenny - very easy to keep turning the pages wasn't it?

      Delete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.