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BOOK REVIEW – TWO STEPS FORWARD

  • Julia's Reading Challenge for 2019

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Introduction

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 Forwardreveals 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.

two steps forward

Julia's Review

I am a big Camino walker, having walked numerous times over the last three years. I also like my gadgets and was keen to take a drone, video recording equipment etc. Using a baggage service is, in my eyes, a little bit like cheating, so I posted on a Camino Facebook Group "has anyone ever walked with a trolley?". So many people responded with links to this book that I just had to read it. 

I was originally interested in the technical side of the book and was not really that keen on listening to Zoe's story. I wanted to hear more about Martin's trolley and how it coped on the trail, but within the first few chapters, I was drawn into the romance and the way of the trail. I found myself drifting back to my own Camino's, knowing people that had met and fallen in love on the Camino. But this was not just a love story, it had so many other messages. The final message about "letting other people help you" really had an impact on me and I felt disappointed when the book had finished. 

If you are seeking a book that has a bit of everything, then I would highly recommend this read. It is well written, a bit cheesy at times, but you can't help but smile at the stories - especially if you have walked the Camino before. It will be a trip down memory lane for you.