BACKGROUND ~ I picked up this gem in the independent bookshop at Ullapool and it is a great read. The sense of distance from the south of England and to the Borders being far more meaningful to me having driven from Bedfordshire to Fife several times in the last couple of years. I had heard of the novel and looked forward to being amused by a light-hearted read. I was not disappointed, although the poignant moments in the book caught me by surprise.
REVIEW ~ Harold receives an unexpected letter from a colleague of the past who was once important in his life but then disappeared. He writes a letter in reply which he barely feels adequate as a response to someone with terminal cancer. He walks to post it, passing the first letter box full of uncertainty – then the post office – then the next box and in the end walks all the way from the south coast of England to Berwick on Tweed, which to his surprise he achieves, overcoming both mental and physical hardships along the way. The purpose of his pilgrimage – to give Queenie the will to stay alive, which he does.
In this moving, heart-warming, easy to read narrative, Rachel Joyce has captured the complex feelings and thoughts of an elderly gent, who struggles to do the right thing and nearly looses everything.
Diana Jackson is the author of (soon to be released) ‘From Redundancy to Rejuvenation ~ A Writer’s Fantasy Walk Along The Fife Coastal Path’ ~ her own pilgrimage and voyage to her soul.