Two Steps Forward

Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist. Morrow, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-284311-1
Buist (Medea’s Curse) and Simsion (The Rosie Project) collaborate on this uneven dual-protagonist story about a California widow and a divorced Brit who find one another on the Chemin, a spiritual walking route that winds through France and Spain. After losing her second husband, Keith, to what she suspects was a suicide, 45-year-old mom Zoe Witt takes up her old pal Camille’s invitation to visit her in France. Zoe learns about the Chemin and participates on a whim, despite her aversions to the walk’s religious origins (she was raised Roman Catholic, but has been at odds with her faith since her mother disowned her for taking her friend to get an abortion in college). Martin Eden, 52, is an engineering professor who thinks the Chemin will be a good way to test a new cart design from which he hopes to profit. He is also still smarting from the fact that his ex-wife cheated on him with his boss. Zoe and Martin get the wrong impression of one another at first, and then over and over again. The will-they-or-won’t-they tension grows old fast as miscommunications keeps them from consummating their affections—a shame since their love story is the least interesting part of the novel. Their interactions with fellow travelers from around the world, as well as their own fraught histories—Zoe’s with the Church, Martin with his teen daughter, Sarah—are the true highlights. Though readers may not fall in love with the central romance, they’ll appreciate everything else. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-284552-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4434-5660-9
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-0-06-284582-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5385-1920-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-5385-1921-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5385-1919-6
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-06-284615-0
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