Nominated by:

Bibliothèque Municipale Á Vocation Regionale de Nice, France

Wojewódzka i Miejska Biblioteka Publiczna, Lódz, Poland

The Library of Birmingham, United Kindgom

Dunedin Public Libraries, New Zealand

Hartford Public Library, USA

Lincoln Library, Springfield, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Doubleday, UK

Random House Inc. USA

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce      

2014 Longlist

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other.

He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone.
All he knows is that he must keep walking.
To save someone else’s life.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and Perfect published in July 2013. She was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards ‘New Writer of the Year’ in December 2012.
Joyce has also 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.

Librarians’ Comments

How an ordinary citizen, peacefully retired with monotonous daily routines in his small cottage in the south of the UK becomes a hero while changing the course of his life and that of his followers. A moving story, full of humanity.

It is never too late to change one’s life, says the novel. Sometimes, you can find love, forgiveness and understanding just after you have lost everything and when you want to change somebody else’s life, in fact you change your own too. When you ask others for help, in fact you help them. This novel makes you still have faith in people, their goodness and willingness to help.

This is a superb debut novel which entertains and disquiets in equal measure, but is ultimately an uplifting story. With a blend of humour, wisdom and pathos this novel skilfully explores all the weird and wonderful contradictions that make us what we are.

This is a moving and uplifting story of an ordinary man who sets out on a 600 mile walk across the UK to say goodbye to an estranged friend who is dying of cancer. The writing is simple but profound, and engages the reader completely.

A pleasurable story that carries sadness as if it is a simple thing. “You’d think walking should be the simplest thing “she said at last. “Just a question of putting one foot in front of the other. But it never ceases to amaze me how difficult the things that are supposed to be instinctive really are.”

The story of everyman Harold Fry and his quest to say goodbye to a former love is told in gorgeous prose by author Joyce. On his journey, Fry will meet some memorable characters and will rouse his long dormant spirit and sense of promise. This is a tale of faith, loyalty and redemption, told with humor and poignancy that will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

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