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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Project comes 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.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
GRAEME SIMSION is the author of the #1 bestseller The Rosie Project, which has been optioned for film by Sony Pictures, was a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and won the Australian Book Industry Association Book of the Year. The Rosie Effect was also a #1 Globe and Mail bestseller, an instant New York Times bestseller and a People magazine Pick of the Week. Simsion’s most recent novel, The Best of Adam Sharp, has also been optioned for film. This is his first novel co-written with his wife, Anne Buist. Follow him on Twitter @GraemeSimsion.
ANNE BUISTis the chair of the Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. She has over twenty-five years’ clinical and research experience in perinatal psychiatry, and works with protective services and the legal system in family cases. Her novels featuring forensic psychiatrist Natalie King are Medea’s Curse and Dangerous to Know. This is her first novel co-written with her husband, Graeme Simsion.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Two Steps Forward is a novel written by Australian husband and wife author team, Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist. When Zoe and Martin arrive in France, neither of them does so with the Camino de Santiago in mind. Engineer, Dr Martin Eden has just gone through an acrimonious divorce, giving up his home and job for a temporary teaching position in Cluny. An aspiring artist whose fledgling career was aborted by marriage and the birth of her two (now adult) daughters, Zoe Witt is a recent widow. Her husband’s sudden death brought some unpleasant surprises and she’s in Cluny looking up a college friend while she comes to terms with her grief and life’s new realities. Somewhat uncomfortable with her friend’s matchmaking efforts, and feeling the need for solitude, Zoe surprises herself with a decision to walk the Chemin from Cluny to the Spanish border. Martin’s impetus is far from spiritual: after a chance encounter with a Dutch pilgrim, he is going to road-test a pilgrim cart he has designed and hopes to sell; in fact, needs to sell as he is jobless, homeless and penniless! And with a seventeen-year-old daughter about to attend university. As their paths cross and recross, American Zoe and British Martin, along with a bunch of Brazilians, Germans and other Americans, go (despite some friction and/or frisson) from strangers to a camaraderie (and occasionally, something more) that seems not uncommon with those sharing this life-changing experience. There’s plenty of humour in the dialogue and the interactions between characters: miscommunications, misunderstandings and omissions of the whole truth, as well as a bit of (almost) slapstick comedy add to the enjoyment. The male and female voices are well rendered, and the story also illustrates the wide spectrum of pilgrims attracted to Camino, with their myriad of reasons for walking. Buist and Simsion give the reader a tale about a group of ordinary people with ordinary life problems who discover that often best advice comes from strangers whose perspective is not coloured by emotions. The “spiritual journey” aspect is well handled, never becoming overwhelming or heavy on “message” but still given enough gravitas to be thought-provoking. The only things missing from this delightful novel are the images of Zoe’s cartoons and Martin’s cart. Very entertaining!
4+ - engaging story of two travelers on the Camino de Santiago; excellent opportunity to learn about the diversity of the travelers on the walk as well as the difficulties of the trail; plot moves quickly and leaves you wanting to read on
This book was so so good! It's a great story, easy to get drawn into, and easy to read. Particularly good for anyone who is at a crossroads or time of change in their life. Lots of thought-provoking issues that the characters are dealing with, without being too heavy. Great summer read. Great read in general! I received this book for free as a member of the Harper Collins Book Club Girl Book Club.