Goodreads blurb: “A romantic comedy from Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project, and his wife Anne Buist.
Two misfits walk 2000 km along the pilgrims’ way in Spain to find themselves and, perhaps, each other.
Zoe, a sometime artist, is from California. Martin, an engineer, is from Yorkshire. Both have ended up in picturesque Cluny, in central France. Both are struggling to come to terms with their recent past – for Zoe, the death of her husband; for Martin, a messy divorce. Looking to make a new start, each sets out alone to walk 2000 kilometres from Cluny to Santiago, in northwestern Spain, in the footsteps of pilgrims who have walked the Camino-the Way-for centuries.
The Camino changes you, it’s said. It’s a chance to find a new version of yourself. But can these two very different people find each other? In this smart, funny and romantic journey, Martin’s and Zoe’s stories are told in alternating chapters by husband-and-wife team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist.
Two Steps Forward is an audiobook about renewal – physical, psychological and spiritual. It’s about the challenge of walking a long distance and of working out where you are going. And it’s about what you decide to keep, what you choose to leave behind and what you rediscover.”
I must be one of the few people who didn’t get on with The Rosie Project by the author, but wanted to try this book because of the Camino de Santiago. I haven’t walked the Camino, but have always been interested in it after coming across a monastery in the Pyrenees that had a wine tap on it’s wall for pilgrims to drink from. I’ve also seen The Way film with Martin Sheen and James Nesbit a couple of times, and I loved Simon Reeve’s Pilgrim documentary for the BBC.
I liked Zoe straight away, although I did think she was incredibly naive when she parted with 200 euros for a silver scallop pendant at the beginning of her Camino and dreaded to think what else she was going to fall victim to next . I warmed to Martin the other main character and ended up quite liking him as his character developed along the way.
I loved Penelope Rawlins narration enjoying every chapter immensely as I journeyed with Zoe along the route. Would she walk all the way to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain or would she just walk until St. Pied to Port in southern France?
I loved meeting all the different characters along the way, the Australian couple, the fun Brazilians, the Spanish 6, the newbie Americans and even Bernhard the annoying German.
A perfect holiday listen that I’ll definitely be listening to again.