Sunday, October 7, 2012 | Categories: Episodes
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is the story of one man's faith in his feet. (OneEighteen/photopin)
On the surface, Harold Fry lives an unremarkable life. He's retired from a dull job, not very happily married, bored and boring. Days come and go without change - except he puts on a little weight and loses a little hair.
And then one day, a pink envelope arrives in the mail.
It is from a dying friend, Queenie, whom he hasn't seen for twenty years. Her letter unsettles him, and he composes an awkward note of condolence.
But by the time he gets to the post box, something inexplicable has begun to happen to Harold. He keeps walking.
Ill-equipped and out of shape, he begins a solitary journey that will take him 87 days and 627 miles, from his home in the south of England to her hospice in Berwick-upon-Tyne, in the north.
Harold develops an unwavering belief that if he walks to Queenie Hennessy, he will keep her from dying. All of which confounds his wife Maureen, who is completely shocked by the transformation of her otherwise unremarkable husband.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a story of redemption, renewal with a taste of the ridiculous ... about how one's life can be transformed through an act of faith.
This is Rachel Joyce's first novel, but it has been enjoying remarkable success. It has been translated into thirty languages, and was longlisted for this year's Man Booker prize.
Ms Joyce is also an actor and an accomplished playwright -- in fact this story first took shape as a radio play.