Image: Daniel Salmieri
The commute was a daily coming together of some like minds. You got used to the same people sitting around you even if there existed little more than a nod of recognition between you.
My travelling companion was an avid reader, and on occasion, we compared the novels we were reading.
“Have you read Rachel Joyce?” I asked one morning.
She hadn’t and was immediately interested in hearing my thoughts on her writing.
She had written four novels I had read and thoroughly enjoyed. My enthusiasm must have been obvious as she took in my every word.
“I like the way she creates endearing characters and through them, she leads you along a path. All her books have a journey of some kind in them. “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ takes in the journey Harold Fry makes on foot from one end of England to the other end. Harold is a most unlikely character and along the way attracts a range of odd characters who encourage him to continue his journey. The aim of his journey is to meet up with a work companion from twenty years earlier, Queenie Hennessy. Queenie Hennessy’s story is followed up in a subsequent book, “The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy’.
What I liked also was the author’s ability to lead you along but have a twist at the end you didn’t anticipate and which leaves you a bit speechless, so to speak.
My level of enthusiasm must have inspired her for the next week she sat by me reading her own ‘Harold Fry’ novel. I was pleased to tell her that she would enjoy all four novels and that a new novel was due out later in the year.
We both agreed a good novel not only drew you in but also filled your head with so many wonderful thoughts in response to the writing and in some cases for your own writing.