Join Rachel Joyce to talk about January's Book of the Month, THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, on Tuesday 29 Jan, 9-10pm

(222 Posts)

January is all about making fresh starts, new plans and wildly unrealistic promises. Most of us fall by the wayside within days. But not Harold Fry. The hero of our Booker-longlisted, January Book of the Month, THE PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, is a retired and unhappily married pensioner living in Devon, who receives a letter from an old friend in Berwick Upon Tweed telling him she has cancer. He writes a reply, but on his way to the postbox, he decides that this is not enough. He must walk to Berwick in person, there and then. Only this, he knows, will keep her alive. And so begins a remarkable journey through the roads, cafes, tourist centres, towns and lanes of Britain. Along the way, a cast of diverse characters support, encourage and empathise with him, eventually turning into a cult following. Meanwhile, Harold's own memories begin to bubble up, and resolve the regret and sadness that have blighted his marriage and his relationship with David, the son who dramatically left home.

An exploration of grief and regret, as well as a celebration of love, faith and hope, this is a charming, moving and peculiarly British book.

Our book of the month page has more details about THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY. You can get a paperback or Kindle edition here.

We are thrilled that Rachel will be joining us to discuss the book and answer any questions about THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, the Booker longlist and her writing career on Tuesday 29 January, 9-10pm.

Hope you can join us...

GoldMyrrhAndNonsense Wed 05-Dec-12 02:00:42

I'm here early as I keep missing the book and then the chat. Downloading to my Kindle now!

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 08:35:53

A book I don't have...hurrah!

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 10:33:46

It is now 10.33 and not live.

Huh.

ShadeMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 05-Dec-12 10:36:17

The Book of the Month page is now live. Apply for your free copy of THE PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY now.

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 10:37:19

dunnit

aristocat Wed 05-Dec-12 14:49:33

Love, love the sound of this book.

smile

BeataNoxPotter Wed 05-Dec-12 14:57:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 15:17:49

Out of interest, do people who don't much like the books just not post?

I only ever see Ooo Author Person, I loved your book so much it's so great...etc

BeataNoxPotter Wed 05-Dec-12 15:21:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 15:22:03

Soz, didn't mean you two above specifically!

lilibet Wed 05-Dec-12 17:01:50

I love this book. It was a birthday present earlier this year and everyone I lend it to has nothing but praise for it. I shall post a question although I probably can't make the chat.

Hully, I'm guilty of not posting if I dislike a book. The Submission being a case in point. I'm out most Tuesdays and it seems mean to post a criticism and then not even turn up.

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 17:15:12

But it isn't, it's fine if it is honest and constructive. Otherwise it's just get an author on and arselick. Dull.

BeataNoxPotter Wed 05-Dec-12 18:01:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 06-Dec-12 12:38:20

Hully, you didn't see my posts on the previous book, The Sisters Brothers, then. No arse-licking there. I hated it, and said so grin.

HullyEastergully Thu 06-Dec-12 14:35:24

No, I'll have to have a look

Although I LIKED that book very much so you are clearly WRONG

VeryMerryOnSherryGerryMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Dec-12 15:36:24

There are still some copies of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry left, but only a few, so don't dilly-dally, shilly-shally or other things rhyming with ally...

The BBC has a downloadable taster here.

ShadeMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Dec-12 16:01:47

The giveaway copies of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry have now gone. If you were successful we'll forward your address details to the publisher who will pop a copy of the book in the post for you.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 06-Dec-12 16:39:00

^No, I'll have to have a look

Although I LIKED that book very much so you are clearly WRONG^

I do love a good debate about books, Hully, but I'm never going to change my mind about THAT book grin. It has been the only MN bookclub choice that I loathed, but there have been one or two I wasn't that enthralled with eg the Esther Freud one (Lucky Break) - just didn't do anything for me.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 06-Dec-12 16:39:40

Aargh italics function fail!

HullyEastergully Thu 06-Dec-12 17:00:29

Mind you MM ignored my extremely insightful psychological analysis of why her book fell into two halves so frankly I wonder why I bother.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 06-Dec-12 18:06:43

Ah but I'm sure she did say she would happily answer further questions sent to her via her website, so maybe you could try there? Nice to have an approachable, friendly author willing to discuss their book.

I seem to recall vaguely that Jeffrey Eugenides' webchat didn't go quite so well, which was a shame. I liked that one.

HullyEastergully Thu 06-Dec-12 18:17:31

They mainly only like discussing it if you rave tho.

I think lovley ol Jeffrey missed his?

Tw1nkle Mon 10-Dec-12 19:36:40

The book sounds great - but the kindle price is MORE than the actual paperback - think I'll pass!

Jeffrey made his, just at the suitably celebby time of an hour after everyone else - but he still managed to answer a fair few questions, and not all of the arslikan sort...

Some of the best chats have been around books that deeply divided opinion. A D Miller's Snowdrops and Chrisos Tsiolkas The Slap were very busy, lively discussion nights. Both authors took a barrage of criticism, and they answered with thoughtful arguments on what they were trying to achieve, and why that might have failed or succeeded.

I think most bookclubbers have been fair and honest in their opinions, and the authors appreciate that - almost all of them emailed me afterwards to say how much they enjoyed the directness and intelligence of the discussion.

So keep posting, everyone, whatever you think of the book. If you loathe it, and can articulate that in a fair and balanced way, the author might be interested to engage with that. And you never know, you might get a pleasant surprise. I couldn't stand The Slap, but Christos became one of my all-time favourite guest authors...

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