Two Steps Forward

Two Steps Forward 1

by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 02/10/2017

5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
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Two Steps Forward is the feel good novel of the year from Graeme Simsion, author of the Rosie books and his wife, Anne Buist.

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 two thousand 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 a novel about renewal physical, psychological and spiritual. It's about the challenge of walking an extraordinary 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.

ISBN:
9781925498776
9781925498776
Category:
Contemporary fiction
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
02-10-2017
Publisher:
Text Publishing
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
368
Dimensions (mm):
234x154x27mm
Weight:
0.49kg
Graeme Simsion

Graeme Simsion was born in Auckland and is a Melbourne-based writer of novels, short stories, plays, screenplays and two non-fiction books. The Rosie Project began life as a screenplay, winning the Australian Writers Guild/Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy before being adapted into a novel.

It went on to win the 2012 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript and has since been sold around the world to over forty countries. Sony Pictures have optioned the film rights with Graeme contracted to write the script.

The Rosie Project won the 2014 ABIA for Best General Fiction Book, and was ultimately awarded Australian Book of the Year for 2014. The sequel, The Rosie Effect, was released in 2014 to great acclaim and also became a bestseller. His new book is The Best of Adam Sharp.

Anne Buist

Anne Buist is the Chair of 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 cases of abuse, kidnapping, infanticide and murder.

Professor Buist is married to novelist Graeme Simsion and has two children.

Her novels featuring forensic psychiatrist Natalie King are Medea’s Curse, Dangerous to Know and This I Would Kill For.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • Very entertaining

    by on

    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!