This book is perfect for Dad and for you to read, to maybe understand more about YOUR dad!
Synopsis: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 twenty 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 six hundred 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 of youth 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.
Review: This book remind me greatly of The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie. I wasn't too sure of the book when I started it, but it grew on me and by a third of the way in, I was reading it very quickly, to see where the tale would go next. It is a book that you can put down and pick back up again very easily. In fact, I read it while waiting for appointments and the like!
It is in the process of Harold's walk that the people Harold meets help him to come to grips with problems in his own life, and help face them head on, make changes and see a new future. How the media takes over his walk and turns it into a cariacture of itself will ring very true with anyone who's seen the US news since March. How Harold's vision and reality come to grips at the end of the book is also very realistic and makes the book honest and compelling. This is an honest book about marriage, how different people cope and how we face death and the loss of a loved one.
I would recommend reading it before the movie comes out, that I am sure will follow! In fact, it would be a great movie to take your Dad to see too!
About the Author: Rachel Joyce has written over 20 original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, and major adaptations for both the Classic Series, Woman's Hour and also a TV drama adaptation for BBC 2. In 2007 she won the Tinniswood Award for best radio play. She moved to writing after a twenty-year career in theatre and television, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, and Cheek by Jowl, winning a Time Out Best Actress award and the Sony Silver.This is her first novel. She is currently at work on her second.
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Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Random House Publishing, via their Reader's Circle Program, for review purposes. No other compensation, monetary or other, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it