cover image You Are Here

You Are Here

David Nicholls. Harper, $30 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-339405-6

Two lonely strangers meet while hiking England’s Coast to Coast Walk in the witty latest from Nicholls (Sweet Sorrow). Marnie Walsh, 38, has been wiling away her days as a freelance copy editor, working out of her one-bedroom London flat. Over the years, her friends have started families and left town, but she hasn’t had a relationship since her divorce a decade earlier. Michael Bradshaw, a 42-year-old geography teacher from York, likes being alone, though he finds it hard spending time at home ever since his wife Natasha left him nine months earlier. On weekends, he sets out on long, strenuous hikes. Marnie’s and Michael’s stories converge when a mutual friend invites the two to join a three-day walk on the fells with stays at inns along the way. The two are left alone together by the second day, after the others quit due to heavy rain. While hiking, they develop an easy rapport. Marnie shares why her marriage failed, and Michael divulges that he and his wife were unable to have kids. Marnie is excited to have the time alone with Michael, though unbeknownst to her, he’s planning to meet his ex-wife at a point farther along the trail. Nicholls’s story unfolds rather predictably, but the terrain, the elements his protagonists face, and their engaging banter save the day. Fans of the author’s previous books will get just what they came for. Agent: Grainne Fox, UTA. (June)