The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye

Book Review

by Luann Rottmann

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye

by Rachel Joyce c.2012

Luann Book Review

This is a first novel written by this award winning British playwright.   It’s extraordinary! Harold Frye is a recently retired fellow living in the south of England.  One day he receives a note from an old friend who is in Berwick-upon-Tweed in Scotland, 600 miles away and things change in Harold’s life.

His journey starts as a walk to post a return note and this begins a trek for Harold that he never planned.  Set in England, the language and references to English life in the 21st century are very interesting.  Words like post for mail, rucksack for knapsack and mobile for cell phone add interest for the reader.

Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank says about this novel, “When it seems almost too late, Harold Frye 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.”  This reader agrees. It is funny. It is touching.  As Harold journeys, we all too journey through life.  Harold has family that he stays in touch with. As he journeys the stories of his past come together. In the present, he meets people that touch his life and amaze and inspire him.

It’s quite a story. The author is working on a second novel.  I’ll be looking for it in the online catalog of Havelock Public Library.