Saturday, December 19, 2015

The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

A book about an ordinary person's simple yet extraordinary achievement....a book about love....lost and found...and finally a book about love and friendships.....

Harold Fry is retired ( about 6 months ago,from a brewery ) and living peacefully in a village. One day, out of blue, he receives a letter from an old acquaintance of his,Ms.Queenie. Startled ( Queenie is alive ?) and saddened ( she is battling with cancer ...), he decides to write a letter to her.He leaves home to post the letter ,but instead starts walking.....walking to meet her ....from one end of the country to the other....

This on-the-spur-of-the-moment decision finds Harold totally unequipped....no boots, no map ,no compass and no mobile ! But he has faith and hope....He decides that ,walking after all , is just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other.....

It is not a fast-paced book , just collection of small ,ordinary events and chance encounters ,but  when taken together induces a sense of well-being in the reader . Yes..there is a twist and a secret ,but on the whole,this book has to be read slowly and savoured.The beauty of the nature, the tranquil surroundings, sleeping under the stars , the  interesting people Harold meets on his pilgrimage makes him ponder over many things...his life and life in general....These also seep in your soul when you read it...you start believing in miracles....

Many a times , we find ourselves wondering..." What am I doing ? Is this going to make any difference ? " Harold faced even worse dilemma...." How my walking is going to save Queenie ? What am I trying to achieve ? " But it was not only about saving her....everybody has to die some time and cancer is not going to be cured by a simple thing such as walking  .....but the feeling that someone is doing something, something  impossible for us ...gives a person joy and happiness ....and... hope.... if one miracle can occur ,then why not others ?.... That is what happened with Queenie.....her remaining days were filled with peace and happiness......

And Harold ? This walk changed him,too....he could see his past and his actions clearly...spending time with himself , he finally exorcised the demons of his past and emerged as a new man....he rediscovered love.....

The bunch of followers Harold gathers and the undue publicity he receives was probably necessary for his understanding and evolution but even without them, the narrative would have been beautiful and serene....

Harold gave me a lot of hope and taught me to believe in miracles.....also something  about the material possessions.....that we don't own things but things own us....the real joy is away from all possessions.....

Hope he does that for you,too !!

Happy reading !!!