The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Discussion Questions

The following discussion questions for “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” were created by our member Michele. We freely share our original discussion questions, but please consider including a credit and link to our website.

  1. Do you think the transformation that Harold Fry? Or the transformation of his wife Maureen?

  2. Did you foresee that Harold & Maureen’s son had passed away, prior to the revelation towards the book’s end?

  3. Discuss the “cover up” that Queenie participated in for Harold. What were her possible motivations and how did this impact Harold’s path?

  4. In what ways do the “pilgrims”, who join in Harold’s walk, add to Harold’s experience versus detract from his pace?

  5. During an interview, the author states that she chose the book’s ending, of Harold and Maureen happy together on the beach, because of her view that “there is hope for anyone who can laugh.” Reflect on this comment. Is there an experience/period of time that you can relate this to?

  6. After years of no correspondence, Queenie wrote a kind letter of closure to inform Harold of her upcoming death. Who would be the surprised recipient of a “final farewell” letter from you?

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The Trees by Conrad Richter

About the Book

The Trees is a moving novel of the beginning of the American trek to the west. Toward the close of the 18th century, the land west of the Alleghenies and north of the Ohio River was an unbroken sea of trees. Beneath them the forest trails were dark, silent, and lonely, brightened only by a few lost beams of sunlight. Here, in the first novel of Conrad Richter's Awakening Land trilogy, the Lucketts, a wild, woods-faring family, lived their roaming life, pushing ever westward as the frontier advanced and as new settlements threatened their isolation. This novel gives an excellent feel for America's lost woods culture, which was created when most of the eastern midwest was a vast hardwood forest—virtually a jungle. The Trees conveys settler life, including conflicts with Native Americans, illness, hunting, family dynamics, and marriage.


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

About the Book

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.