The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (or, if you’re me, just Harold)
The first few times I saw mention of this book, I was all “meh, that’s not really my thing.” But then I was talking to Ti, and we were bashing Wild (it’s fun! You should try it!), and she said that, even though it is fiction, Harold was the book she wanted Wild to be.
So suddenly I was counting the days until it was released.
And then Nancy (thank you, Nancy!) offered to send me her copy of the ARC she read. Sweet! (Except I passed it on to my mom before I snapped a picture, so then I had to stealthily take the above photo in a bookstore easily recognizable from that damn sticker they like to plaster on the front cover.)
So I headed off on vacation with book in hand, happy as a clam.
And lucky for Harold, this was one of the few books I actually managed to read while I was on vacation (sometimes when given a choice between books and bumper cars, you just gotta go with the bumper cars).
So I discovered that Ti was right. This is totally the book that I wanted Wild to be.
One day after receiving a letter from an old friend, Harold kind of accidentally on purpose takes off walking to see her. He has nothing with him but his wallet, and he’s walking in deck shoes. The walk becomes a way of keeping his old friend alive, and also a way of looking back at his life and regrets. It also turns into a bit of an Event, complete with media circus (that part of the book I didn’t much care for), but Harold eventually gets back on track and ends up where he needs to be. Both literally and figuratively…he comes to some realizations about life and I was left with the impression that his life had gotten back on track (after a 20 years or so detour).
This is in total contrast to the sex-obsessed, poor me I’m an orphan trail thoughts that I was subjected to with Wild. Trust me, people…Harold might have his flaws, but he’s a lot more fun than Cheryl.