I couldn't put this one down and finished it in just a few days. There are so many themes running in this book- love, loyalty, regret, independence, and finding meaning in life, and though these can be heavy topics, they don't seem that way. It will make you think about the expectations you have for your own relationships- friends, spouse, children, neighbors and strangers. Can there be kindness left in humanity? The plot synopsis seemed so simple and yet this simple story of a man trying to reconnect with a friend has made me really think about all these topics. And it has a twist to boot! Listen to this one.
Well done audiobook. The chapter character transitions between Harold, Queenie and Maurine keeps the storyline interesting.
Harold is my favorite character who discovers his strengths through the hearts and minds of others along his journey across England.
Broadbent brings life to the thoughts and memories of the main characters, especially Harold's life review.
This is a charming and understated book that works extremely well on many levels. The whimsical conceit and cover art of an eccentric englishman walking across the country to save an old friend belies a thought provoking examination of how we relate to each other, what people need and what is really important in life and relationships. The simple sounding plot is full of twists and surprises, and every time you think you know what is coming the author surprises you with something more interesting. The narration matches the quality of the story.
A wonderful story read by Jim Broadbent. What could be better............
Mr. Broadbent was the perfect choice for this story.
If they do make a film I hope Mr. Broadbent plays the role of Harold.
Long time married couple who share this subscription and find it enriches our conversations. We listen while commuting, cooking, working out, and often drifting off to sleep!
This is a book I would listen to again. Harold's quiet reflection and kindness drew me in. Like when in the presence of someone who speaks quietly, I found myself leaning in t to catch the meaning. I enjoyed the way Harold's walk stripped him to his bare essentials.
There is a type of British novel that I really like. Ages ago I read several Barbara Pym novels and this one reminded me of those. Stories about real people who find life overwhelming and yet manage to "get on." I like the quiet way these stories unfold allowing me to enjoy them at my own pace and they give me time to reflect on my own life along the way.
Jim Broadbent's reading was absolutely perfect for this story. He was kind to each of the characters and got inside each one.
The book made me reflect on what's important in life. What happens when we try to ignore pain and how powerful acceptance is. I found the book very hopeful.
I was captivated by this book -- both the story and the narration. The author weaves many elements of humanity into the pilgrimage.
The novel is universal. One can relate to every sentence written.
Harold. I am he.
Jim Broadbent mad the experience extremely enjoyable. Of all the audiobooks I have listened to, he ranks number one as a performer. I searched Audible for other books narrated by him, but I unfortunately didn't find any (apart from children's novels). What a shame.
I am so glad I listened to this book. I really enjoyed it. The story was engaging, memorable and very touching. As Harold walks, he and his wife Maureen reconnect emotionally after years of unhappiness. The narration was wonderful! I would definitely like to read more by this author.
This brilliant story of a man, a marriage, a family- includes something with which every person can identify. It sheds light on our humanity and growth as individuals in ways I've never quite recognized in the same way through other fiction.
Jim Broadbent inhabited the character of Harold Fry in such as way as to actually make the story more like a one-man play. I have not read the book in print, but I would not want to now- the performance was so perfect, I certainly could not have "heard" the book as well in my own mind, and will never read it without feeling the performance of this gifted reader!
Rachel Joyce writes with a light hand and an open heart. She brings tears of recognition to our eyes. She opens us to truths about our own lives in the same way that Harold Fry recognizes truths about himself and his own life. We often do not recognize those truths as events unfold, but later in life, looking back, we see that our lives have mattered in the only way that counts- in our effects upon others.
No better narrator for this lovely story than Jim Broadbent. Will definitely look for more of Rachel Joyce's work. She definitely knows her characters well.