Two Steps Forward

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, i...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Two Steps Forward
Author:Graeme Simsion
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Two Steps Forward Reviews

  • Marianne

    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!

  • Phrynne

    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:)

  • Producervan in Cornville, AZ from New Orleans & L.A.

    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.

  • Kathryn

    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.

  • Andrea

    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,

    , funny and charming, without tipping over the edge.

  • Lisa

    [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

    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

    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.

  • Sharon Metcalf

    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.

  • Jonetta

    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)

  • Jennifer

    I was first on the list at my local library for

    , as I have been eagerly awaiting any new work with

    's name attached. I was obviously overly excited because

    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

    , as I have been eagerly awaiting any new work with

    's name attached. I was obviously overly excited because

    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

    that provided this tidbit...

    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.

  • Wendy

    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 much

    gag-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.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.