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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Audiobook

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Why did I love this book so much? The answer to that question is as complicated as trying to explain why you love a particular person. Because that’s what this book is – an entire life encapsulated and explored through the thoughts and encounters of a man on an unexpected journey. The story slowly grows and unfolds until the full picture is before you – blooming and beautiful and completely irreplaceable. Jim Broadbent’s narration is so utterly real it breaks your heart. — Emily

Publisher's Summary

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack of quotidian minutiae is a letter addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye.

Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then, as happens in the very best works of fiction, Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. And thus begins the unlikely pilgrimage at the heart of Rachel Joyce's remarkable debut. Harold Fry is determined to walk 600 miles from Kingsbridge to the hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed because, he believes, as long as he walks, Queenie Hennessey will live.

Still in his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold embarks on his urgent quest across the countryside. Along the way he meets one fascinating character after another, each of whom unlocks his long-dormant spirit and sense of promise. Memories of his first dance with Maureen, his wedding day, his joy in fatherhood, come rushing back to him - allowing him to also reconcile the losses and the regrets. As for Maureen, she finds herself missing Harold for the first time in years.

And then there is the unfinished business with Queenie Hennessy.

A novel of unsentimental charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise - and utterly irresistible - storyteller.

©2012 Rachel Joyce (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"When it seems almost too late, Harold Fry opens his battered heart and lets the world rush in. This funny, poignant story about an ordinary man on an extraordinary journey moved and inspired me." (Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank)

"There's tremendous heart in this debut novel by Rachel Joyce, as she probes questions that are as simple as they are profound: Can we begin to live again, and live truly, as ourselves, even in middle age, when all seems ruined? Can we believe in hope when hope seems to have abandoned us? I found myself laughing through tears, rooting for Harold at every step of his journey. I'm still rooting for him." (Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife)

"Marvelous! I held my breath at his every blister and cramp, and felt as if by turning the pages, I might help his impossible quest succeed." (Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (6006 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Debra 04-02-15
    Debra 04-02-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    35
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    "Great book"

    This is an inspiring story and the narration is perfect. It is very unpredictable, just the way life is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Woodruff, SC, United States 03-29-15
    Melissa Woodruff, SC, United States 03-29-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Reflective and touching"

    This story reminds me of Thoreau's words, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." It is bittersweet, but I enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna NEW YORK, NY, United States 03-22-15
    Donna NEW YORK, NY, United States 03-22-15 Member Since 2012
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    "A picture of life"

    Very soothing. An extraordinary experience of relationships, loves, regrets and forgiveness! I loved this pilgrimage!! I highly recommend this novel

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill & Leslie 03-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    26
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    "Heartbreakingly Funny"

    Heartbreaking story that is ever so funny. You grow to love Harold and following along on his adventure makes you feel like you know him and feel his pain and pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly Mansubi 03-18-15 Member Since 2013
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    6
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    "Absolutely Beautiful!!!"

    A journey for the reader into one's soul. Cathartic... I had no idea what to expect from this book. Such beauty!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justine PORTLAND, OR, United States 03-12-15
    Justine PORTLAND, OR, United States 03-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Indescribable"

    A sublime book, with a sublime performance by well - known character actor Jim Broadbent. The lives of ordinary people,. Only they are not. They are simple, and complex, and downright extraordinary all at the same time. And they remain unresolvedly human. What they go through ranges from reassuringly familiar, to bone-crushinly brutal on an emotional level. yet nothing seems contrived or manipulative. An incredible gem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole Dixon 03-09-15 Member Since 2007
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    "The language of heart"

    This is a beautiful story of coming to terms with the past. It spoke quietly and persistently to my heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Chatham, NJ United States 03-06-15
    Mary Chatham, NJ United States 03-06-15 Member Since 2010
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    3
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    "Very interesting story"

    Enjoyed this very interesting story of a wonderful journey of introspection, grief and reconciliation. Loved the ending! It had humor and sadness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Birdie 03-04-15
    Birdie 03-04-15
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    "Thought provoking"

    Reminiscent of Forrrest Gump. I enjoyed the subtle life lessons. The narration was very good. I think this book was meant to be listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn 03-02-15
    JoAnn 03-02-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thoughtful"

    Couldn't wait for the end. It is such an awaking story for the marriages of time. Totally enjoyed this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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