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...

HullyEastergully Wed 12-Dec-12 15:04:51

I missed The Slap one, but I liked the book very much. Even tho the sex was ludicrous and clearly written by a man that had never had at it with a woman...

Definitely worth looking at the Rachel Joyce website - particularly the video interview iand the page on how she tried writing lots of other things that never made it, before becoming totally gripped by expanding on this radio play To Be a Pilgrim....

HullyEastergully Fri 14-Dec-12 12:37:23

Tilly, see if you can get Helen DeWitt, I've just read her second book, Lightening Rods, (after The Last Samurai) she would be one interesting person...

Great tip, am on the case with Helen deWitt and will keep you posted...

fluffydog Tue 18-Dec-12 13:38:07

I have 2 books to finish first on my kindle but will download this one once I have finished those - have put it on my wishlist.

eatyourveg Mon 31-Dec-12 08:37:28

Santa brought this for me and I read it over 2 days - a real gem.

happynewmind Fri 04-Jan-13 11:05:58

Ahhh that explains the book through the door this morning, I had completely forgot and was very confused this morning blush

DuchessofMalfi Fri 04-Jan-13 13:47:45

Lovely surprise - I'd also forgotten, with Christmas and flu etc grin. Looking forward to reading it, although I've got to finish my current book first. Should have plenty of time to read both.

currybaby Fri 04-Jan-13 14:20:34

I've just got my book through the post and was also very confused for about 10 mins. Thought it must have been an xmas present that arrived late but i couldn't remember who i bought it for..

This is my first book club read so looking forward to joining in. Also got a nice quiet weekend ahead with OH out both nights and me in with the baby so perfect timing smile

Clawdy Fri 04-Jan-13 15:05:58

Mine arrived this morning - nice surprise!

gailforce1 Fri 04-Jan-13 16:49:07

Thank you to Transworld my copy arrived today. Looking forward to settling down for a good read!

jennywren123 Fri 04-Jan-13 23:13:19

Mine was waiting on the doorstep for me when I got home. Thank you! I've already started reading it.

Eirwen Sat 05-Jan-13 09:35:25

Mine arrived yesterday too. Lovely surprise as I had forgotten about it. Thanks, Transworld for your generosity. Looking forward to reading it.

Tw1nkle Sat 05-Jan-13 09:41:27

Fab - now half-price on the kindle!
Looking forward to reading this one!

bexyboo19 Sat 05-Jan-13 17:56:30

I got my book yesterday, which is great as I've no money and am not allowed to buy books for myself this year!! First time participating in this book club and I'm really excited as I started the book today and it's great so far! smile

hellohellohihi Sat 05-Jan-13 19:13:13

Ooh got this for my birthday way back in March so this is the perfect excuse to get bookwormy again as its been a while...! Plus I've never done a book club before! Excellent!

modernbear Sat 05-Jan-13 21:12:27

Received a copy yesterday morning. I could not put it down. Consequently, I have just finished it. It is good that I have an understanding husband. By the end I was in tears. I lost both parents quite young in relative terms. My mother to cancer. I know I would have walked a million miles to keep her alive.

I wonder if writing this particular work allowed Rachel Joyce to come to terms with something in her past, in some way mirroring Harold's literal journey?

whatphididnext Mon 07-Jan-13 17:31:36

ssh modernbear don't give the game away.

I am just over half way through and absolutely loving every page.
It's so nice to read a book that feels like every sentence is crafted with care.

Thank you so much Transworld and MN for my copy. thanks

whatphididnext Mon 07-Jan-13 17:36:01

Thank you for the link Tillybookclub

Abcinthia Mon 07-Jan-13 17:44:53

I'm halfway through and love it so far - I feel annoyed when I have to put it down.

I find it's really leaving an impression on me. Whenever I'm not reading it, it's not far from my thoughts. Not many books have that affect on me.

hellohellohihi Tue 08-Jan-13 06:34:39

Ooh, I'll be starting it this morning on the train! Yippee!

Happy New Year all...hope you had wonderful holidays.

Glad to see so many people riveted by Harold Fry. Keep putting your thoughts and questions up here, am keen to know what you think.

Abcinthia, the phrase you use ('not far from my thoughts' ) is exactly what happened to me - the book kept popping into my mind at random moments, and still does, even though I read it months ago.

Hullygully Wed 09-Jan-13 08:36:36

I have started. Wish I could stop picturing Harold from Neighbours plodding down the hawthorn hanging byways of England.

whatphididnext Wed 09-Jan-13 12:52:19

I am finding the plot deliciously unpredictable.

Hullygully Wed 09-Jan-13 15:36:05

Are you? Goodness.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now