Rachel Joyce's first novel...sounds twee, but it's surprisingly steely, even inspiring, the kind of quirky book you want to shepherd into just the right hands. If your friends don't like it, you may have to stop returning their calls for a little while until you can bring yourself to forgive them.... [Joyce] has a lovely sense of the possibilities of redemption. In this bravely unpretentious and unsentimental tale, she's cleared space where miracles are still possible.
Ron Charles - Washington Post
Harold’s journey is ordinary and extraordinary; it is a journey through the self, through modern society, through time and landscape. It is a funny book, a wise book, a charming book—but never cloying. It’s a book with a savage twist—and yet never seems manipulative. Perhaps because Harold himself is just wonderful.... I’m telling you now: I love this book.
Erica Wagner - The Times (UK)
Joyce writes with precision about the changing landscape as Harold trudges his way across England. Early chapters of the book are beguiling, but a final revelation tests credulity, and the sentimental ending may be an overdose of what the Brits call “pudding.”
Soon after his retirement from a brewery in a quiet English village, Harold Fry...decides to embark on a 600-mile walk to say goodbye to [a dying friend]..... The result is a novel of deep beauty and wisdom about the human condition; Harold, a deeply sympathetic protagonist, has much to teach us. Verdict: A great novel; essential reading for fans of literary fiction. —Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT
Solitary walks are perfect for imagining how one might set the world to rights, and Harold does just that, although not always with uplifting results, as he ruminates on missed opportunities and failed relationships.... [A] gentle and genteel charmer, brimming with British quirkiness yet quietly haunting in its poignant and wise examination of love and devotion.
Those with the patience to accompany the protagonist on this meandering journey will receive an emotional payoff at the end. [A]n allegory that requires many leaps of faith, while straddling the line between the charming and cloying (as well as the comic and melodramatic). Manipulative but moving.
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