Maureen Fry and the Angel of the North (Harold Fry #3) by Rachel Joyce
‘How do we do it? How do we accept the unacceptable?’
This is the last book in the trilogy that began with the wonderful The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, one of my all-time favourite books.
Ten years have passed since Harold’s return from his adventure, and we now spend time with Harold’s wife Maureen as she makes her own pilgrimage to a place where she feels she may find some peace. Maureen is not like Harold: she’s prickly and doesn’t make friends easily. She’s enveloped by grief at the loss of their only child. She is struck that a person could be trapped in a version of themselves that was from another time, and completely miss the happiness that was staring them in the face.
Maureen’s journey is both physical and emotional. At the start of her trip she wished she could be the kind of person that can say something to make someone feel better, but she couldn’t find that fleeting moment of goodness. No one understood another’s grief or another’s joy. People were not see-through at all. We watch Maureen as she slowly learns to accept friendship and love and finds a way to accept the unacceptable.
I have to make a special mention of Joyce’s acknowledgement of librarians and booksellers who kept getting books to us, even when we were all locked inside. The gate-keepers of reading. Where would we be without you? Where indeed!!!
At only 126 pages, this is a novella and can be read easily in one sitting. If you want it to resonate, you need to have read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy.