SUPERSTITIOUS JOURNEY The lucid novel explores the theme that everyone is complex on the inside

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Joyce describes Harold Fry as ”too English,” which means he’s the type of unassuming, tweedy man who sits around dissolving his quiet desperation in cups of tea. That is, until a letter from a dying former co-worker sets him off on a cross-country walking trip that he superstitiously believes will save her. Joyce’s writing is lucid, and despite the plot’s episodic nature, it’s never plodding. Unfortunately, there are times when The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry‘s main theme — that everyone, no matter how banal on the outside, is actually a complex mash of emotion and regret — gets neatly packaged into painfully obvious passages. But there are just as many instances where Joyce shows instead of tells, and those moments are splendid. B+

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
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