From the New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Projectcomes a story of taking chances and learning to love again as two people, one mourning her husband and the other recovering from divorce, cross paths on the centuries-old Camino pilgrimage from France to Spain.
“The Chemin will change you. It changes everyone…”
The Chemin, also known as the Camino de Santiago, is a centuries-old pilgrim route that ends in Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. Every year, thousands of walkers—some devout, many not—follow the route that wends through quaint small villages and along busy highways alike, a journey unlike any other.
Zoe, an artist from California who’s still reeling from her husband’s sudden death, has impulsively decided to walk the Camino, hoping to find solace and direction. Martin, an engineer from England, is road-testing a cart of his own design…and recovering from a messy divorce. They begin in the same French town, each uncertain of what the future holds. Zoe has anticipated the physical difficulties of her trek, but she is less prepared for other challenges, as strangers and circumstances force her to confront not just recent loss, but long-held beliefs. For Martin, the pilgrimage is a test of his skills and endurance but also, as he and Zoe grow closer, of his willingness to trust others—and himself—again.
Smart and funny, insightful and romantic, Two Steps Forward reveals that the most important journeys we make aren’t measured in miles, but in the strength, wisdom, and love found along the way. Fans of The Rosie Project will recognize Graeme Simsion’s uniquely quirky and charming writing style
“First lesson of Camino: everyone does the Camini their own way”
I am so thankful to @williammorrow and @tlcbooktours for sending me a copy of Two Steps Foward to review. I adored Graeme Simsion’s novel The Rosie Project and was excited to read this one and it did not disappoint.
Zoe is dealing, or not dealing, with her husbands passing by walking out of her current life and onto the beaten path of the Camino de Santiago. Martin is recently out of a messy divorce and looking for financial gain when he sets out on The Chemin to test his pull cart design. They each have two different experiences on the pilgrim route. One with comforts of nice hotels and hot meals and the other living off the kindness of others and barely scarping by.
Zoe and Martin’s originally meeting is awkward and it takes them a while to warm to one another. Most of the story they are not walking partners which is fine because they both have personal issues to work through. Yet fate has their paths literally cross throughout the entire journey, sometimes without their knowledge of it. When they finally come to walk alongside each other the struggle to lean on one another is a hurdle they have to overcome.
Told from first person perspective and alternating chapters between Zoe and Martin, the story was refreshing, fun, and perfectly paced. It had main characters you cared about and had great supporting characters offering comedic relief and fun. It was a great story of self discovery and acceptance with an interesting historical rich setting.
“‘No idea. So here we both are in the middle of our lives, starting again. Are we going to be bold or just go back to what we were?'”