The critically acclaimed, Sunday Times and international
bestseller, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize 2012- 'A magical,
moving and uplifting tale about a man's journey across England and
into his own heart.' - Deborah Moggach.
Rachel Joyce is the Specsavers National Book Awards New Writer of the Year 2012.
The critically acclaimed, Sunday Times and international bestseller, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize 2012: 'A magical, moving and uplifting tale about a man's journey across England and into his own heart.' - Deborah Moggach. Rachel Joyce is the Specsavers National Book Awards New Writer of the Year 2012.
Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and
international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold
Fry, Perfect, The Love Song of Miss Queenie
Hennessy, The Music Shop and a collection of interlinked
short stories, A Snow Garden & Other Stories. Her books have
been translated into thirty-six languages and two are in
development for film.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Rachel was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' in December 2012 and shortlisted for the 'UK Author of the Year' 2014.
Rachel has also written over twenty original afternoon plays and adaptations of the classics for BBC Radio 4, including all the Bronte novels. She moved to writing after a long career as an actor, performing leading roles for the RSC, the National Theatre and Cheek by Jowl.
She lives with her family in Gloucestershire.
When Harold Fry, a morbidly shy, retired British brewery salesman, decides on a whim to walk the distance between his home in southern England and the hospice where his long-lost friend, Queenie Hennessey, is dying of cancer, he has no idea that his act will change his life and inspire hundreds of people. The motivation behind the trek and why he is burdened by guilt and the need to atone, are gradually revealed in this initially captivating but finally pedestrian first novel by English writer Joyce. During Harold's arduous trek, which covers 627 miles and 87 days, he uncoils the memory of his destructive rampage for which Queenie took the blame. He also acknowledges the unraveling of his marriage and his anguish about the lack of intimacy with his son. Plagued by doubt and exhaustion, he undergoes a dark night of the soul, but in the tradition of classical pilgrimages, he ultimately achieves spiritual affirmation. Joyce writes with precision about the changing landscape as Harold trudges his way across England. Early chapters of the book are beguiling, but a final revelation tests credulity, and the sentimental ending may be an overdose of what the Brits call "pudding." Agent: Conville & Walsh Literary Agency. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Soon after his retirement from a brewery in a quiet English village, Harold Fry receives a surprising letter. It's from beloved friend and colleague Queenie Hennessy, whom he hasn't heard from in 20 years, writing from a distant terminal cancer ward to say good-bye. This letter returns Harold to a horrifically painful part of his past, threatens his already troubled marriage, and ultimately leads to a crisis that casts into doubt everything he thinks he knows about himself. He decides to embark on a 600-mile walk to say goodbye to Queenie in person. Joyce, a former actress and acclaimed BBC scriptwriter here publishing her first novel, depicts Harold's personal crisis and the extraordinary pilgrimage it generates in masterly fashion, exploring psychological complexities with compassion and insight. The result is a novel of deep beauty and wisdom about the human condition; Harold, a deeply sympathetic protagonist, has much to teach us. VERDICT A great novel; essential reading for fans of literary fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 2/27/12.]-Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
One of the sweetest, most delicately-written stories I've read in a
long time. One man's walk along the length of England to save the
life of a dying woman. Each chapter describes a different encounter
along the way, with a definite nod to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
Philosophical, intriguing, and profoundly moving. * Foyles website
Uplifting, funny and delicate -- Jon Stock * The Daily Telegraph *
At times almost unbearably moving. * Sunday Times *
A brilliant and charming novel: full of comic panache yet acute and poignant. * Spectator *
one of the most moving, uplifting, inspiring novels I've ever read * Richard Madeley *