"The journey of a thousand miles
begins with one step." - Lao Tzu
Initially, Harold is euphoric as he journeys northward. But, as the days and miles pass, Harold must confront the physical ailments of a man who has never “walked further than the end of his driveway” as well as the unearthing of numerous sorrows and regrets of yesteryear. His path crosses with an eclectic mix of characters throughout his journey, many of whom show him kindness. All the characters, we learn, have their own stories, burdens, and life obstacles to face. Through these interactions, both brief and extended, Harold sees the best and the worst of the human experience and he realizes that we all are hanging on by so little. In the end, the pilgrimage transforms Harold. Whether it transforms him for the better, we do not know. I, personally, like to think that it does.
My favorite quote from the book is this: “The people he met, the places he passed, were all steps in his journey, and he kept a place inside his heart for each of them.”
I thoroughly enjoyed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I would recommend it to those who enjoy poignant tales of underdogs. I found it quaint and it provided me with both laughter and tears.
My Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars