Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru,  I had such fun last week at the Mini Mart and now I am looking forward to the opening of my friend Fred Stroppel's new play "The Hunter's Moon"  which begins its Off Broadway run  October 23.  Before then, however, I would like to read a good book- something like the one you suggested last year: " Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. " Any thoughts?    An Autumn Anglophile

Dear Autumn Anglophile-  We were at Metropolitan Bistro recently with a group of friends, when the talk turned to good books . Petrice Kaider, always a great source,  mentioned one that she had read recently and loved: THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY by Rachel Joyce . Harold Fry is a lonely man living  a joyless life.  Recently retired from the local brewery, he is a source of constant irritation to his wife of forty-seven years.  Their son that they doted upon never visits, never calls. They have few neighbors and no friends.  Yes, Harold's  is surely a" life of quiet desperation"  but everything changes with the arrival in the morning mail of a letter from a former colleague - Queenie Hennessy.  Her message is brief: she is dying and wishes  Harold a fond farewell.  Shaken, Harold writes off a perfunctory get well card and leaves for the post office. Four months and 600 miles later, Harold arrives at Queenie's bedside after this most unlikely of pilgrimages.  On the journey we  learn a great deal about this gentle man who has suffered much. He meets many fellow pilgrims along the way: some who help , some who harm , some who simply share their stories.  Petrice was right- this is a wonderful book- one that reminds us that everyone we meet has a story waiting to be told and, yes, things are seldom as they appear. Highly recommended! 

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