Harold Fry, the hero, is a recently retired salesman in Kingsbridge, Devon, who one day recieves a letter from Queenie, a woman he worked with twenty years earlier. She writes that she has cancer, and wants to give him a last greeting before she dies. He writes a response and tells his wife Maureen he is taking a walk to the mailbox. But when he gets there, he can´t bring himself to post it. So he goes on to the next mailbox. Same thing, so he goes to the next one. After a few hours he is almost out of Kingsbridge and goes to a garage to get something to eat. A young girl heats a meal for him and says something about an aunt of hers having had cancer, but "you must believe" or some such thing. Harold then decides to call Queenie where she is, at a hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed, and when he speaks to the nurse (Queenie is asleep, she says, and can´t come to the phone):
"Small clouds sent shadows scurrying across the land. The light was smoky over the distant hills, not with the dusk but with the map of space that lay ahead. He pictured Queenie dozing at one end of England and himself in a phone box at the other, with things in between that he didn´t know and could only imagine: roads, fields, rivers, woods, moors, peaks and valleys, and so many people. He would meet and pass them all. There was no deliberation, no reasoning. The decision came in the same moment as the idea. He was laughing at the simplicity of it.
"Tell her Harold Fry is on his way. All she has to do is wait. Because I am going to save her, you see. I will keep walking and she must keep living. Will you say that?""
It´s a cryer. I have read books ("Uncle Tom´s Cabin" comes to mind) that made me cry before, but no book ever made me cry like this one. Really, if you decide read it, have a fresh box of tissues at hand. It really got to me, and I am rather cynical usually, or I used to be, anyway. That said, it´s not a depressing story at all, it´s on the contrary very uplifting. A feel-good-er. Harold does, in a way, save Queenie. He saves himself as well, and more. What a great movie it would make. Tom Courtenay would be great as Harold. A bit short, but great.