Since his retirement, sixty-five year old Harold Fry has done nothing but mow the lawn, and infuriate his wife by filling in the easy answers on her Telegraph crossword. Then an unexpected letter, postmarked Berwick upon Tweed, arrives from an old friend, Queenie, whom he hasn’t seen in twenty years. Queenie is dying of cancer.
When Harold sets out to post his reply he embarks on a journey that will change him beyond recognition. For Harold realises that simply posting a reply isn’t enough. He is going to walk, all 500 miles from Devon to Berwick. So long as he keeps walking, his friend Queenie must keep living. It is an impulsive, terrifying, beautiful and irrational act of faith made by a man who has spent most of his life in a chair.
On the way, Harold will meet people who will both alter his view of the world, and challenge him to remember the past he would rather forget. He will briefly become a national celebrity. He will give up his credit card, sleep in the wild, and almost lose his way altogether. But it is his awakened faith in the power of one human being to help another that is the heart of the book. As he confronts the mistakes and losses of his past, and the tragic secret at the heart of his marriage, Harold’s inner journey will prove as transformative as his physical one.
Left behind, Harold’s wife, Maureen, will also go on a journey. And what has begun as a story about two wasted lives becomes a celebration of a man on his feet.
02 Apr 2012