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Pilgrimage

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Monday, 27 August 2012 in Uncategorized

I have just written, in an email to a close friend to whom I had recommended a book, "If you don't cry at the ending, then our friendship is over."

The book is called THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY ... a first novel by Rachel Joyce.

It had been recommeded to me by my friend Tom, and Tom happened to be visiting this weekend, so he was here when I concluded my reading, and we had a chance to talk about it. In part we talked about the use of the word "pilgrimage"...such a perfect choice. The author could have used the word "journey", of course...but pilgrimage...perfect.

I am a fast reader but I took my time with this one, savoring each paragraph.

(In contrast I picked up another new book last night: THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, perceived in the first pages that it was not savorable, at least not by me, so I zipped through it and finished it in one sitting and won't even bother recommending it to friends. But Harold Fry? Oh yes.)

Tom called it a novel about redemption. He is a retired priest so knows what he is talking about when he uses such terminology: redemption; pilgrimage. I myself am not at all religious but one doesn't need to be to appreciate those words and what they mean in this book.  It is a book about being human. About making mistakes. About grief and loss and making up for things done wrong. It concludes with two people laughing and laughing, even as the reader is snuffling into a Kleenex.

This morning I looked up the definition of the word "pilgrimage" and found: A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. It occurs to me that many (most)? memorable pieces of literature involve a journey of that sort...sometimes actual geographic journeys; always a quest for meaning.

 

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Sam Cox
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Sam Cox Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I read one of your blogs from 2010 concerning Dr. Ernst Trier Morch and the Danish rescue in 1943. (re: Number the Stars). I knew Dr. Morch before his death in 1995; I am currently conducting some research on him and would be interested in speaking (or corresponding) with you briefly. I can be reached at twocoxes@cox.net.
Sam

Amy
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Amy Sunday, 02 September 2012

I have very much enjoyed looking around your site and your blog. It's nice when authors write about all aspects of their life. Your photos are beautiful and thanks for the book recommendation!

chris
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chris Thursday, 04 October 2012

I was excited to read about your latest offering and so was visiting your website. I wanted to say thanks for the book recommendation. I checked it out and it looks like something I will enjoy. Have a good day and thank you for sharing.

Marion Knott
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Marion Knott Monday, 08 October 2012

Hi, I too liked Harold Fry and must admit that I didn't think I could keep up with it so I kind of skimmed through it, got interested and finished it.
I wanted to e mail you about your article in yesterdays NY Times magazine. It was lovely, sad but beautiful.
Also I noted a picture of you and Ashley Bryan. He was the dearest friend of my dearest friend, Effie Lee Morris Jones. She died three years ago this November and I know you must have known her. She established the first chidren's service at the San Francisco library. I do read picture books, read them, buy them and share them with the children that I read to at an inner city San Francisco school. I also read adult books and have ten to read right now. I also reserve books that sound interesing but turn out to not be so.

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