Two Steps Forward
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. 

Two Steps Forward Details

TitleTwo Steps Forward
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 1st, 2018
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062843111
Rating
GenreFiction, Romance, Travel, Contemporary

Two Steps Forward Review

  • Phrynne
    January 1, 1970
    When I first started this book I found it a little slow and a little too full of details about walking, finding accommodation and what they had for breakfast. But it surely did not stay like that! As Martin and Zoe take their first tentative steps along the walking trail they also begin a romance which is by turns funny and sad, and full of misunderstandings. The cover picture says it all. There is Zoe on one stretch of the path and Martin with his little cart on a whole separate section. Occasi When I first started this book I found it a little slow and a little too full of details about walking, finding accommodation and what they had for breakfast. But it surely did not stay like that! As Martin and Zoe take their first tentative steps along the walking trail they also begin a romance which is by turns funny and sad, and full of misunderstandings. The cover picture says it all. There is Zoe on one stretch of the path and Martin with his little cart on a whole separate section. Occasionally they do meet up!The writing is delightful. If you read the book watch out for the lovely little scene where Zoe picks up a 'leftover' glass of wine,drinks it and moves on. Then see what happens next. So clever!One of those books which doesn't hit the ground running but rather starts off slowly and gathers momentum. By the last half I was so attached to the two main characters I had to race to the end to see what happened. Oh and the ending is brilliant! Read it:)
    more
  • Jonetta
    January 1, 1970
    Zoe, an artist from California, and Martin, an engineer from England, find themselves on The Chemin, also known as the Camino de Santiago. It’s a centuries-old pilgrim route that ends in Santiago in northwest Spain. They plan to join other walkers following the route, each having their own reasons for doing so. Zoe recently lost her husband in a car accident and Martin is recovering from an acrimonious divorce. He’s also testing out a cart he’s designed that might replace the need to carry backp Zoe, an artist from California, and Martin, an engineer from England, find themselves on The Chemin, also known as the Camino de Santiago. It’s a centuries-old pilgrim route that ends in Santiago in northwest Spain. They plan to join other walkers following the route, each having their own reasons for doing so. Zoe recently lost her husband in a car accident and Martin is recovering from an acrimonious divorce. He’s also testing out a cart he’s designed that might replace the need to carry backpacks on this journey. I’d never heard of this sojourn, let alone this region of France. The cast of characters encountered along the way made this a unique reading experience. Walkers take different approaches to the trip, some staying in hostels, others in private homes or hotels. Zoe started the walk alone and found herself intersecting with Martin and his cart throughout. Theirs was a relationship that had a rocky start that eventually evolved to amiable, with starts and stops to something more. They’d take “two steps forward” and then...I struggled with the beginning of this story with all the technical talk of equipment, kilometers and gear related to the Camino. But somewhere along the line, I became fully invested in these people, the things that were driving them to do this walk and their experiences along the way. It’s told from Zoe and Martin’s points of view, alternating sometimes in parallel and others in a cleverly connected way (you have to pay attention so you don’t miss those moments!). I loved both narrators, Simon Slater and Penelope Rawlins, for their storytelling skills and their distinctive capture of all the characters in the story. I ended up loving this book and found the ending delightful. (I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)
    more
  • Producervan in Sedona, AZ from New Orleans & L.A.
    January 1, 1970
    Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist. Enjoyable fictional account about a man and a woman’s trek on the Camino, starting in France and on into Spain. Told from each of their points of view, you’ll find this part travelogue and part romance. Some hikers are on a spiritual journey and some are avoiding their spiritual journeys whilst others learn what love really is. Truly inspiring change, resolution and growth for many of the characters while sharing a realistic view of traversing Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist. Enjoyable fictional account about a man and a woman’s trek on the Camino, starting in France and on into Spain. Told from each of their points of view, you’ll find this part travelogue and part romance. Some hikers are on a spiritual journey and some are avoiding their spiritual journeys whilst others learn what love really is. Truly inspiring change, resolution and growth for many of the characters while sharing a realistic view of traversing the Camino de Santiago. Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ebook for review.
    more
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I was first on the list at my local library for Two Steps Forward, as I have been eagerly awaiting any new work with Graeme Simsion's name attached. I was obviously overly excited because Two Steps Forward did very little for me. The parts I did enjoy and warranted all the stars was meeting all the characters in the midst of their Camino de Santiago pilgrimage to Spain. It was so interesting to see everyone's reason for making the religious pilgrimage, and not only did I learn something new but I was first on the list at my local library for Two Steps Forward, as I have been eagerly awaiting any new work with Graeme Simsion's name attached. I was obviously overly excited because Two Steps Forward did very little for me. The parts I did enjoy and warranted all the stars was meeting all the characters in the midst of their Camino de Santiago pilgrimage to Spain. It was so interesting to see everyone's reason for making the religious pilgrimage, and not only did I learn something new but I found it fascinating. Then I stumbled across an article posted by The Sydney Morning Herald that provided this tidbit... "In 2011, literary couple Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect and The Best of Adam Sharp) and Anne Buist (Medea's Curse and Dangerous to Know), walked for 87 days from Cluny in France to Santiago de Compestela, covering 2038 kilometres." Knowing that the authors actually had firsthand experience allowed me to understand why the trail became a character in its own right. I loved this element. However, the two main characters were very one-dimensional to me. The grieving three-week widow Zoe did not seem to be grieving at all. I didn't feel anything from her and this impacted all the other dynamics such as her internal and external journey and her slow romance with the divorced male lead: Martin who she meets on the trail, and who I struggled similarly with but not quite as much. Maybe this was due to the audiobook performance, maybe I read this on a bad day, maybe the trail completely outshined everything else (which is an explanation I could live with), but it was my experience nonetheless. Although 100% unemotional for me personally, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this ancient pilgrimage that I don't remember ever hearing about before. Learning is good. Three stars.My favorite quote:"The path is not a straight line but every step takes you closer."
    more
  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    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 h 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!
    more
  • Sharon Metcalf
    January 1, 1970
    Two Steps Forward by husband and wife team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist was an uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable novel. Though completely different from Simsion's "Rosie" series it contained a number of my favourite elements. For example the writing was engaging so that once started I didn't want to stop reading, the characters were likeable, the story well executed and the setting interesting. Having walked the Chemin/Camino themselves - from Cluny in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain Two Steps Forward by husband and wife team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist was an uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable novel. Though completely different from Simsion's "Rosie" series it contained a number of my favourite elements. For example the writing was engaging so that once started I didn't want to stop reading, the characters were likeable, the story well executed and the setting interesting. Having walked the Chemin/Camino themselves - from Cluny in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain - not once but twice (2038 km & 1900 km respectively) they clearly wrote what they knew (and Ioved) and I found it inspiring. A walk of that magnitude must surely provide ample opportunity for contemplation and that was precisely what our fictional, middle aged pilgrims required. Zoe, recently widowed intended to use the time to deal with her grief but found that as the miles unfolded she had the capacity to let go of long held animosity towards her mother, and religion by association. Martin intended to use the walk to launch a new business venture but he too found himself dealing from afar with the falllout of a recent nasty divorce and the implications of that upon his teenage daughter. Along the way, these two strangers provided each other with companionship and support, and left the door open to the potential for something more in future. I felt this aspect of the story was lovely, and was handled realistically without being overly sentimental.Yes there was a heavy emphasis on the walk (which incidentally I'm now inspired to do) but it was so much more. Ultimately it seemed to be about forgiveness - of self and others. Of accepting responsibility for your own actions, of forgiving yourself for your own mistakes and trying to push past regrets in an effort to move forward as a better person. Quite fitting really when the original pilgrims walked to find God, seek forgiveness or give thanks.Whilst on the topic I'd like to add my thanks to the authors for a job well done, to HarperCollins publishers for this Advance Readers e-proof, and of course NetGalley for making that possible.
    more
  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    I debated whether or not to add this book to my Travel shelf because it shouldn't really fit; it's fiction. But the authors explain in their Authors' Note that they were very careful about being accurate with routes, timings and locations, and taking only occasional liberties with accommodation and restaurants, based on their own experiences of walking the Chemin/Camino twice in 4 years. It's just the characters that are fictional. I was convinced, so there it sits.Martin and Zoe are strangers, I debated whether or not to add this book to my Travel shelf because it shouldn't really fit; it's fiction. But the authors explain in their Authors' Note that they were very careful about being accurate with routes, timings and locations, and taking only occasional liberties with accommodation and restaurants, based on their own experiences of walking the Chemin/Camino twice in 4 years. It's just the characters that are fictional. I was convinced, so there it sits.Martin and Zoe are strangers, from different continents, who both happen to be in Cluny at the same time, with no previous thoughts of walking the Chemin/Camino. But of course that's exactly what they both find themselves doing, leaving Cluny within two days of each other in the off-season. Of course they were destined to meet. Along the way they deal with difficult weather, an eclectic mix of fellow-pilgrims, health issues, lost property, and the contemplation of 'what-went-wrong' back at home. Gradually Martin & Zoe become friends, favoured walking companions and maybe - if they could just get it together at the same time - something more. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wanted it to keep going. For a collaborative piece of writing, it is seamless, and it gave me a very vivid sense of what it might be like to walk the Chemin/Camino. As I was reading I kept thinking that it reminded me of the style of British author, David Nicholls, funny and charming, without tipping over the edge.
    more
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    [3.5 stars] I like the idea of going on a walking "pilgrimage" to work through life's problems. ("The Unlikely Pilgramage of Harold Frye" and "Wild" are two favorites of mine) This is the premise of Two Steps Forward. Zoe and Martin, both middle aged, are separately walking "The Chemin" through France and Spain. I enjoyed both of their journeys and the description of the trail and wish I could go on this walk! It sounds like a very appealing experience. The alternating narratives sometimes felt [3.5 stars] I like the idea of going on a walking "pilgrimage" to work through life's problems. ("The Unlikely Pilgramage of Harold Frye" and "Wild" are two favorites of mine) This is the premise of Two Steps Forward. Zoe and Martin, both middle aged, are separately walking "The Chemin" through France and Spain. I enjoyed both of their journeys and the description of the trail and wish I could go on this walk! It sounds like a very appealing experience. The alternating narratives sometimes felt choppy and confusing. The voices of Zoe and Martin were not always distinct and I found myself frequently looking at the top of the page to see who was speaking. But overall, a satisfying read. Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways program for this ARC.
    more
  • Text Publishing
    January 1, 1970
    ‘Simsion and Australian psychiatrist Buist have written an insightful study of loss, grief, and the possibility of romance after.’ Library Journal ‘This is the sort of book that you can easily imagine being filmed, with strong set pieces, gorgeous scenery, and lots of heart and humour.’ Booktopian‘The leisurely paced novel explores themes of forgiveness and self-discovery with gentle humour…A feel-good, mature romance that explores what we need to let go of to move forward.’Books+Publishing‘I en ‘Simsion and Australian psychiatrist Buist have written an insightful study of loss, grief, and the possibility of romance after.’ Library Journal ‘This is the sort of book that you can easily imagine being filmed, with strong set pieces, gorgeous scenery, and lots of heart and humour.’ Booktopian‘The leisurely paced novel explores themes of forgiveness and self-discovery with gentle humour…A feel-good, mature romance that explores what we need to let go of to move forward.’Books+Publishing‘I enjoyed every moment of this informative, funny and sweet novel.’Readings‘A novel of mature love and self-discovery set against the scenic backdrop of the pilgrims’ walk.’Age‘There’s so much to love about this novel, which is smart and funny and full of the awkwardness and adrenaline of adventure and new romance.’Whimn‘A delightful tale of renewal and shedding unnecessary burdens…This is sure to be loved by fans of The Rosie Project and it’s enough to put the Camino at the top of your travel wishlist.’Herald Sun‘Fans of The Rosie Project might recognise shades of Don Tillman…Compelling reading…[A] cast of entertaining and eccentric characters…The book’s momentum never flags…[An] entertaining and refreshingly unpredictable romance.’Sydney Morning Herald‘Sometimes, you just have to feel—to go with what the Way or a book like this one makes you feel. This one made me feel uplifted. I hope it does the same for you too.’Pop.edit.lit.‘Simsion and Buist are Camino veterans who add detail and authority to their novel.’Adelaide Advertiser‘Simsion and Buist are Camino veterans, adding detail and authority to their novel.’Daily Telegraph
    more
  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    I have heard about the Camino walk because a friend's husband walked much of it, I heard an interview about it on the radio by another person who walked it, so when Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist presented itself, I opened it and started reading with interest. I have no desire to walk it myself but I was very happy to vicariously experience it this way.It is described in acknowledgements at the end of the book as a mature-age love story, and it is, but so much more. It is abo I have heard about the Camino walk because a friend's husband walked much of it, I heard an interview about it on the radio by another person who walked it, so when Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist presented itself, I opened it and started reading with interest. I have no desire to walk it myself but I was very happy to vicariously experience it this way.It is described in acknowledgements at the end of the book as a mature-age love story, and it is, but so much more. It is about challenge - physical challenge for sure, ouch all that walking and all those blisters. The challenge of being by yourself, facing difficulties sometimes in life or death situations. The challenge of walking with others and hitting off them and sometimes eventually losing your sharp edges. The walk is an invitation to go inwards and discover who you are, what you are made of? It gives you a change to examine your life so far, the emotions, the things facing you now. It breaks you open, it questions you.There are two main characters - each chapter alternatively told between Martin and Zoe. I came to love them both and to be honest it was with regret that I closed the book and let them go. I loved how Zoe really came into herself, it was wonderful to watch. Martin took a little longer but the lessons he learned so important and most likely apply to us all.There were many other pilgrims along the way, as well those who ran the hostels and places where the pilgrims stayed. The description of the walk was very real, the places so well described. As both authors have walked the walks of Zoe and Martin it rang with authenticity.I started this book with a little caution, I finished it with a gratefulness for the experience.
    more
  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    As good as the Rosie Project, this collaborative husband/wife writing team effort is just as easy to recommend.Told in alternating chapters, we follow Martin (recently divorced Brit) & Zoe (recently widowed American) as they traverse part of the Camino trail from France to Spain. They don't set off together, their paths only cross occasionally, & they are both walking for very different reasons - but they both have important lessons to learn, some even from each other.A well written, hum As good as the Rosie Project, this collaborative husband/wife writing team effort is just as easy to recommend.Told in alternating chapters, we follow Martin (recently divorced Brit) & Zoe (recently widowed American) as they traverse part of the Camino trail from France to Spain. They don't set off together, their paths only cross occasionally, & they are both walking for very different reasons - but they both have important lessons to learn, some even from each other.A well written, humorous book, that nonetheless has deep emotional depths that will bring tears to your eyes.Highly recommended, for Graeme & Anne fans, Camino travellers, or anyone just after a novel you won't want to put down!
    more
  • Elaine
    January 1, 1970
    This was an entertaining read and reignited my interest in walking the Camino. I enjoyed following Martin and Zoe on their journey to Santiago. It was filled with many wonderful characters just like you would expect to meet on the walk. Both authors personal experience with The Way is quite evident with the attention to detail and the descriptions of the many villages and accomodation places visited along the way. As well as the wonderful friendships that can develop. The Camino has a way of bri This was an entertaining read and reignited my interest in walking the Camino. I enjoyed following Martin and Zoe on their journey to Santiago. It was filled with many wonderful characters just like you would expect to meet on the walk. Both authors personal experience with The Way is quite evident with the attention to detail and the descriptions of the many villages and accomodation places visited along the way. As well as the wonderful friendships that can develop. The Camino has a way of bringing people from all sorts of walks of life and all over the world, together and it bonds them in a way nothing else can. That was perfectly captured here. It also reflected the many and varied reasons people choose to walk the Camino and what it teaches them along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this for the insight it gave to the Camino and also for the light, fun and romantic story. Anyone contemplating doing the Camino would enjoy this not so much as a guide book but just as inspiration to follow their dream. This has been on my bucket list for a long time and now having read this book, it has just affirmed for me my desire to one day walk it. Thanks to Graeme and Anne for sharing their passion with us and for giving us a great read in the process.
    more
  • TL
    January 1, 1970
  • Ⓐlleskelle - teamSøren♗ ⊲I like big b00ks⊳
    January 1, 1970
    I received an Advanced Review Copy. More reviews and book talk at : You can find me here too ☞
  • Paige
    January 1, 1970
    This book started a bit slow. It picked up but I didn’t fall in love with the characters like I did the Rosie books.
  • Kate Olson
    January 1, 1970
    What a beautiful story! I have loved everything Simsion has written, and while this book is quite different than his other work, it is just as wonderful. It is a quiet and contemplative story of perseverance, testing the limits of both the physical and mental self, family, and overcoming loss. The France/Spain setting is amazing, and I have been fascinated of the stories of the pilgramages made on the Chemin/Camino since a family friend made the journey several years ago. In the back pages of th What a beautiful story! I have loved everything Simsion has written, and while this book is quite different than his other work, it is just as wonderful. It is a quiet and contemplative story of perseverance, testing the limits of both the physical and mental self, family, and overcoming loss. The France/Spain setting is amazing, and I have been fascinated of the stories of the pilgramages made on the Chemin/Camino since a family friend made the journey several years ago. In the back pages of this book I learned that the authors are married, and wrote the book based on their experiences doing this walk. TWO STEPS FORWARD is not a gripping page turner, but instead is a tale that works its way into your heart and won't let go. It was a truly wonderful reading experience for me.
    more
  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ebook for review***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.An inspiring fiction read particulary for those interested in doing the Camino prilgrimage. The romantic twist adds another element to the story. It started off a li ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ebook for review***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.An inspiring fiction read particulary for those interested in doing the Camino prilgrimage. The romantic twist adds another element to the story. It started off a little slow but as the story progressed it became much more interesting. By the last half, I could not wait to see what happened to each of the characters and the ending was a perfect finish.
    more
  • Sharon Jarvis
    January 1, 1970
    I have to say that this was a great book! Loved it. Read it in one day - I just couldn't put it down.While this is a fiction story the authors share with us that they undertook the Chemin/Camino from Cluny to Santiago de Compostela in 2011 - 87 days and 2038 kms and the Cluny to St Jean Pied de Port and on to Santiago via Camino Frances in 2016 - 79 days and approximately 1900kms! The Camino with all its different variations is an incredible feat to undertake. The publisher’s blurb is an excelle I have to say that this was a great book! Loved it. Read it in one day - I just couldn't put it down.While this is a fiction story the authors share with us that they undertook the Chemin/Camino from Cluny to Santiago de Compostela in 2011 - 87 days and 2038 kms and the Cluny to St Jean Pied de Port and on to Santiago via Camino Frances in 2016 - 79 days and approximately 1900kms! The Camino with all its different variations is an incredible feat to undertake. The publisher’s blurb is an excellent introduction to the story. The title is different but appropriate - it is about walking and lots of it. The two main characters, Martin and Zoe, alternate chapters to tell their story and it is written so that each has a clearly defined voice. While the two have seen each other before each of them leaves Cluny there are an incredible number of miscommunications and misunderstandings that create an interesting atmosphere and much amusement for the reader. I loved the different perceptions that each character shared and how crossing paths with other people and each other leads to complicated situations and coincidences.This is a very moving story. Highly recommended read!!Thank you to Text Publishing for an Advanced Reader Copy to read and review.
    more
  • Odette Knappers
    January 1, 1970
    In YA is coming of age echt een genre, maar in 'volwassen' romans kom je het niet vaak tegen dat karaktergroei het hoofdonderwerp van een boek is. Maar in deze wel.En het is zeker een goed er sterk boek. Ik vind het ook mooi hoe de verhaallijnen van de personages zich ontwikkelen. Maar toch 3*.De schrijfstijl sprak me niet heel erg aan, hoewel het wel vlot weglas. En de hoeveelheid negativiteit en drama en gedoe tijdens de wandeltocht ook niet echt. Al met al heb ik veel YA gelezen met een beter In YA is coming of age echt een genre, maar in 'volwassen' romans kom je het niet vaak tegen dat karaktergroei het hoofdonderwerp van een boek is. Maar in deze wel.En het is zeker een goed er sterk boek. Ik vind het ook mooi hoe de verhaallijnen van de personages zich ontwikkelen. Maar toch 3*.De schrijfstijl sprak me niet heel erg aan, hoewel het wel vlot weglas. En de hoeveelheid negativiteit en drama en gedoe tijdens de wandeltocht ook niet echt. Al met al heb ik veel YA gelezen met een beter onderbouwde, logischere en mooiere karakterontwikkeling dan in dit boek. En zeker qua onderwerp vind ik het vergelijkbare De afstand tussen jou en mij toch wel echt beter.
    more
  • marlin1
    January 1, 1970
    **3.5 stars**I wanted to really love this book and although I did enjoy it, it just didn't reach that height.I've read a few books about travels on the Camino Trail (not all non fiction) and maybe I was expecting more of the same.If your looking for a book where people lost in life find their way while on the trail, then this is a good one. If your looking for a book more about the trail and it's trials and tribulations then this may fall short.Thank you to Text Publishing and Goodreads for a co **3.5 stars**I wanted to really love this book and although I did enjoy it, it just didn't reach that height.I've read a few books about travels on the Camino Trail (not all non fiction) and maybe I was expecting more of the same.If your looking for a book where people lost in life find their way while on the trail, then this is a good one. If your looking for a book more about the trail and it's trials and tribulations then this may fall short.Thank you to Text Publishing and Goodreads for a copy to read and review.
    more
  • Janifer Willis
    January 1, 1970
    Fun book. Couldn't put it down. Great characters with real life complexities to make the story believable and interesting. Will make a great movie.
  • Kate Forsyth
    January 1, 1970
    A charming romantic comedy set on the Camino Trail, Two Steps Forward is told in alternating chapters between the voices of Martin, an engineer from Yorkshire, and Zoe, an artist from California. Both are struggling with hurt and bereavement in their lives. Martin is in the midst of a messy divorce, and trying to rebuild his relationship with his teenage daughter. Zoe’s husband has recently died, leaving her exhausted in mind and body, and not sure how to go on in her life alone. The couple firs A charming romantic comedy set on the Camino Trail, Two Steps Forward is told in alternating chapters between the voices of Martin, an engineer from Yorkshire, and Zoe, an artist from California. Both are struggling with hurt and bereavement in their lives. Martin is in the midst of a messy divorce, and trying to rebuild his relationship with his teenage daughter. Zoe’s husband has recently died, leaving her exhausted in mind and body, and not sure how to go on in her life alone. The couple first meet in Cluny, France, and each decide independently to walk the ancient pilgrims’ way to Santiago in north-western Spain. Their paths cross and part and cross again, along with those of various eccentric and sometimes exasperating minor characters. The tone is light and amusing, with running jokes about Zoe’s difficulty in eating vegan food in a country that adores its food, and Martin’s struggle to learn to take advice. Along the way, however, deeper issues emerge. Each must learn a few lessons about life and their own inner demons before they are ready to embrace a relationship together. Their story is told in alternating chapters by this husband-and-wife writing team, with Graeme Simsion writing in the voice of mechanically-minded Martin, and Anne Bruist writing from the point-of-view of zany Zoe. This is the sort of book that you can easily imagine being filmed, with strong set pieces, gorgeous scenery, and lots of heart and humour.
    more
  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    Every year, thousands of walkers follow a centuries old pilgrim route from France to Spain. The Chemin, also known as the Camino de Santiago, is walked by people who are hoping to experience the life changing effects that the journey is well known to bring to people who complete it. Zoe has come to France still reeling from her husband's sudden death. Martin is recovering from a messy divorce. They both set off the pilgrimage alone but seem to keep bumping into one another while staying in the s Every year, thousands of walkers follow a centuries old pilgrim route from France to Spain. The Chemin, also known as the Camino de Santiago, is walked by people who are hoping to experience the life changing effects that the journey is well known to bring to people who complete it. Zoe has come to France still reeling from her husband's sudden death. Martin is recovering from a messy divorce. They both set off the pilgrimage alone but seem to keep bumping into one another while staying in the small towns along the route. This is a story of pushing yourself to the limit in order to learn more about yourself and maybe others.The Chemin is not something I had heard about before reading this novel and I really found the whole concept fascinating. It really sounds like an incredible accomplishment to complete the journey. Unfortunately, the pace of this book was so slow at times it almost felt like you were out there walking the many kilometers yourself instead of reading a pleasant book. I wasn't a big fan of Zoe as a character but by the end she was definitely more tolerable. I do like the different positive messages of this book but there were just too many times when I was bored to really give this a good recommendation. I won a free copy of this book but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
    more
  • Amy Jasper
    January 1, 1970
    This collaboration between Australian writing powerhouse couple, Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist, is a satisfying page-turning romantic comedy, with an accurate and fascinating travel diary side-story.Graeme and Anne have walked sections of the Camino on more than one occasion, and it shows in the detailed and intimate descriptions of the trail itself and the towns and villages encountered along the way.The central characters, Martin and Zoe, will draw the reader along as a passenger on their indi This collaboration between Australian writing powerhouse couple, Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist, is a satisfying page-turning romantic comedy, with an accurate and fascinating travel diary side-story.Graeme and Anne have walked sections of the Camino on more than one occasion, and it shows in the detailed and intimate descriptions of the trail itself and the towns and villages encountered along the way.The central characters, Martin and Zoe, will draw the reader along as a passenger on their individual experiences, slowly revealing their personal stories. They are accompanied by a supporting cast of appealing and entertaining fellow pilgrims whose individual Camino journeys are satisfying substories themselves.It is no surprise that this novel has already been optioned by Fox Searchlight, for development into a movie (to be produced by Ellen DeGeneres). Graeme Simsion's background in screenwriting has always influenced his work, and this novel in particular will make for a wonderful movie adaptation.I loved Two Steps Forward, and it has (almost) inspired this unfit 50-year-old to get in shape and head off on her own Camino journey!
    more
  • Karen Carter
    January 1, 1970
    I love the title of this book, it is just perfect and encapsulates the essence of the book in both its literal and metaphorical sense. For both Martin and Zoe life has taken an unexpected change for the worse and they have taken to the Camino walk to try and re-find themselves and embark ,with tentative steps, on their new way of life. There is humour in the book but it is also about who we are and who we mould ourselves to be. There is an interesting range of supporting characters who are also I love the title of this book, it is just perfect and encapsulates the essence of the book in both its literal and metaphorical sense. For both Martin and Zoe life has taken an unexpected change for the worse and they have taken to the Camino walk to try and re-find themselves and embark ,with tentative steps, on their new way of life. There is humour in the book but it is also about who we are and who we mould ourselves to be. There is an interesting range of supporting characters who are also each doing the walk for very personal reasons.The principal characters follow their own routes but also come together at some points, sometimes in harmony and sometimes more in adversity. A lovely book that takes you on a journey with its characters.
    more
  • Kirsty
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.This is a story of character growth, learning who you are as a person and growing while taking part in a gruelling endurance test. The novel follows two main characters, Zoe, a woman from America whose husband has recently passed away, and Martin, a man from the UK who has gone through a messy divorce. At the beginning of the book they don't know each other at all, and just happen to be in a similar place at the same ti I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.This is a story of character growth, learning who you are as a person and growing while taking part in a gruelling endurance test. The novel follows two main characters, Zoe, a woman from America whose husband has recently passed away, and Martin, a man from the UK who has gone through a messy divorce. At the beginning of the book they don't know each other at all, and just happen to be in a similar place at the same time. They are both planning to take on the Camino, which is a walk from France to Spain. To do the walk properly takes several weeks of walking all day everyday. They both start their walk for very different reasons, both within a few days of each other. This book is evidence of not judging a book by its cover, as they both make inaccurate first impressions of each other while on the journey. What develops from here is a story which sees their paths cross and intersect at times, all while taking on this gruelling walk, and discovering new things about themselves.I'd somehow never heard of this very famous walking path. It's something that the husband and wife co-authors have walked twice, and so they were able to keep this book very accurate, while also taking creative liberties. The paths, and hardcore setting are all very real, though they did choose to make restaurants and hostels/hotels created more from their imaginations than real ones that they actually went in. While the story is a work of fiction, and may glamourise the walk slightly, the overall essence of the personal pride and joy at walking it properly still remains. Some characters in this book do cheat and get taxis occasionally, and their reasons for doing so does get explained. To each their own, and everyone gets something different from the experience, which is very much a soul searching journey.This book is written from dual perspectives and generally alternates every other chapter between Zoe and Martin. It made for a fascinating read to see each point of view of a particular moment and see how differently each of them would think about that specific incident. It was also great to see how other characters personalities would become more fleshed out, as you would see the lies if they try to play Zoe and Martin off each other. This helps set the scene for further character development in the story. I really enjoyed meeting all the different characters in this story, and getting to know each of them in turn. Even more though, I loved seeing everyones development, as this book reads as a real journey of development for everyone. This book is fantastic at showing off how to learn to spend time with your own thoughts. Also, how to not judge others, as they may have reasons for doing what they do.Despite this book having alternating perspectives and also being written by two authors, the flow of the story was fantastic. I didn't feel like it dragged, I couldn't stop reading to see whether everyone would make their own goals, and also solve their reasons for doing the walk to begin with. I fell in love with Zoe, who is such a strong woman. Martin was equally loveable, and I liked seeing how different their journeys were in some ways, yet so similar in others. I loved this book, and it is definitely one of my favourites of the year so far. I have read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, and I thought this was a lot more enjoyable than that, and I did enjoy that one. I can't wait to try other books by these two authors.Also, I could totally read a sequel to this one. I feel like there is space for one with how everything ends. The ending does wrap everything up, but I still want more time with these characters.
    more
  • Aoife
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from the publishers/author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Two Steps Forward follows two different middle-aged people, Zoe and Martin, as they embark upon the historic pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago. Both characters have a lot to think about, and they end up meeting each other, and other people along the way to help them on their journey, as well as gaining experiences that could never be replaced.I actually ended up feeling a bit disappointed and overwh I received this book from the publishers/author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Two Steps Forward follows two different middle-aged people, Zoe and Martin, as they embark upon the historic pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago. Both characters have a lot to think about, and they end up meeting each other, and other people along the way to help them on their journey, as well as gaining experiences that could never be replaced.I actually ended up feeling a bit disappointed and overwhelmed by this book which I'm so surprised by because having completed a week of the Camino myself, I thought there would be so much in this that would resonate me and bring me back to that week.First of, I have to say that I found there to be a weird sense of snobbery about the Camino in this book from many of the characters, both about which way people decide to do (mostly French versus Spanish) and how people do it (the whole thing versus a week or two). While yes, there are people who are able to put aside several months to walk the entire thing, that's just not feasible for many people who want to experience it so why put people down for only walking a week or two weeks, and deciding to walk a more 'tourist-heavy way.' Everyone does the Camino for different reasons whether it's religious, spiritual. health etc and even though our characters were super preachy about their reasons, I felt like the overall message got a tiny bit lost halfway through when the Camino snobbery became apparent.I also really, really didn't like the main characters Zoe and Martin. I found both of them super stiff, and really anal about well, everything. It would have actually made for a nicer dynamic if one of them had been a little bit more free-wheeling but whatever it was with them, I just hated them both. There was also a lot of drama between them both, though mostly on Zoe's part that, at times, was definitely not needed. It made reading them a little bit exhausting. Yes, some of Zoe's freak-outs and feelings were realistic given her situation but the amount of times they ran off on one another, come on. Also I felt ZERO chemistry between the characters anyway and it just felt like the authors mashed them together just because they could.So with all the bad things said, I will say that the camaraderie between the walkers on the Camino was portrayed very well. No matter how little or how much you talk to the people walking the trail with you, you're all doing the same thing and feeling those same aches and it definitely creates a bond, even if you never see each other again.
    more
  • Marlene
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published at Reading RealityTwo Steps Forward, which begins as kind of the ultimate road trip journey of self-discovery and ends with a romance between two mature adults is absolutely charming from its beginning in Cluny, France to its ending in Santiago, Spain. It will remind readers of Eat, Pray, Love, but with a bit less self-indulgence.And so are all of the places, and most of the people, that Zoe and Martin meet along the way, whether they are travelling separately, together, or Originally published at Reading RealityTwo Steps Forward, which begins as kind of the ultimate road trip journey of self-discovery and ends with a romance between two mature adults is absolutely charming from its beginning in Cluny, France to its ending in Santiago, Spain. It will remind readers of Eat, Pray, Love, but with a bit less self-indulgence.And so are all of the places, and most of the people, that Zoe and Martin meet along the way, whether they are travelling separately, together, or a bit of both.Their separate roads to that self-discovery, as well as their journey along the pilgrim’s path variously known as the Carmino de Santiago, the Chemin, or simply the Way, is definitely a story of two steps forward and one step back – and sometimes the other way around.Both Zoe and Martin are at very loose ends in their mid-lives. It would be a cliche to say that either of them is having a mid-life crisis, and that’s not really the case. They are both in crises that have been thrust upon them. The story of Two Steps Forward is about coming to terms with those crises, the effects on their lives and hearts, and figuring out how to move forward.They say that the Chemin changes everyone. That, at least, is Zoe’s purpose for taking her first ill-prepared steps along the Way. She is in her mid-40s, and has unexpectedly been widowed. Her daughters are adults, and don’t seem to need her much anymore. And after two marriages, one ending in divorce and one ending in death, she’s not quite sure who she is anymore. Only that the identities that she has crafted for herself – or compromised herself into – no longer fit.So she walks.Martin, on the other hand, is flat broke after a messy divorce, and an ill-considered dare. His ex had an affair with his boss, so he’s also out of a job. As he puts it, he’s 52 and skint. And British.He’s not traveling the Chemin to find himself. Instead, he’s an engineer testing a prototype for a rolling cart that hikers could possibly use to travel the Chemin without either carrying a backpack, the traditional mode, or hiring the service that portages one’s bag(s) from one stop to another. Of course, the purists consider that to be cheating.But just because he isn’t looking to find himself or resolve any of the many, many issues he’s running, well, walking, away from, doesn’t mean that those issues don’t follow him along the road. And it equally does not mean that he does not, after all, learn the lessons that the Chemin needs to teach him.Along the way, they keep running into each other. And occasionally from each other. And it is absolutely charming, every step of the way.Escape Rating B+: Your feet will hurt after reading this book, or at least mine did. In sympathy with their incredible journey. It’s a 2,000 kilometer walk, in other words, over 1,200 miles. On foot. Walking.The description of the route, the places they stop or pass, and just the effects of the sheer volume of time, distance and effort, are lyrical, and they feel real, as they should. The authors of Two Steps Forward have themselves walked the Chemin, including the particular route taken by Martin in this book, and have traveled other trails along this pilgrim’s path in the years since.The blisters in particular sound downright painful.But as fascinating as the sheer volume of the mechanics of the journey are, what makes this story so charming are the characters of Zoe, Martin and everyone they meet along the way.The story is told from alternating points of view, with one chapter seen from Martin’s perspective, and the other from Zoe’s. While we do read what they think and feel about each other, it’s more important that we also get to look at what brought them on this journey, what they discover about themselves along the way – and just what baggage they leave behind.That they also find each other gives the story its happy ending, but this is one where the journey, and its fellow travelers, are infinitely more fascinating, may I even say moving, than the destination.
    more
  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    This book is about two middle aged folks, Martin (British) and Zoe (American), who meet walking a pilgrimage trail called the Camino de Santiago from the town of Cluny, France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain--a three month trek. I had not heard of this pilgrimage before, and the authors did a brilliant job of bringing the Camino to life and taking the reader along on this journey. It is said that walking the Camino "changes you". Zoe's husband has recently died, Martin is fresh off a sticky d This book is about two middle aged folks, Martin (British) and Zoe (American), who meet walking a pilgrimage trail called the Camino de Santiago from the town of Cluny, France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain--a three month trek. I had not heard of this pilgrimage before, and the authors did a brilliant job of bringing the Camino to life and taking the reader along on this journey. It is said that walking the Camino "changes you". Zoe's husband has recently died, Martin is fresh off a sticky divorce, and the people they meet along their walk have issues of their own, so drama abounds. Of course, it was fun to root for their romance to succeed, and while Martin did grow on me, unfortunately Zoe did not. Her character felt pretty flat and unemotional to me throughout, and that dragged everything down, story-wise. My favorite character, by far, was the Camino itself, and that went a long way to uplifting my rating.
    more
  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    I read this because it was a Book Club selection by someone in my club that obviously hates me.I gave this 1 star but would give it 0 if I could.This is badly written. It is pedestrian, predictable and plodding (puns intended).I was NOT impressed with Simsion's ROSIE PROJECT and it seems his writing has gone downhill from there.Why, oh why do people who walk the Camino think they need to write a book about it to illuminate the rest of us on its transformative powers? Please, just don't.From page I read this because it was a Book Club selection by someone in my club that obviously hates me.I gave this 1 star but would give it 0 if I could.This is badly written. It is pedestrian, predictable and plodding (puns intended).I was NOT impressed with Simsion's ROSIE PROJECT and it seems his writing has gone downhill from there.Why, oh why do people who walk the Camino think they need to write a book about it to illuminate the rest of us on its transformative powers? Please, just don't.From page 1, I knew the narrative arc of this book. Really, the details of boots, tents, walking companions, boozy nights, getting laid, having fights and epiphanies on the walk are just so muchgag-me, I am so bored, rolling the eyes fodder.As Bob Newhart said in his famous therapist skit, "STOP IT"Have a craving to write about how a vegetarian does the Camino? "Stop it".Feel like telling us EVERY MEAL your characters had on the walk? "Stop it".Want to share the beauty of the French and Spanish countryside? "Stop it".Keen to tell us how to deal with blisters on the walk? "Stop it".Want to stereotype your characters into cardboard cutouts? "Stop it"!!!!! Please, have mercy on the reading public. Your experience that had to be translated into a novel is just not that riveting.If this hadn't been on my Kindle, I would have thrown it out the window. Just wait till I get to the BookClub discussion about this mediocre book.
    more
Write a review