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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 a long 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.
Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist has been optioned by Fox Searchlight with Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Kleeman producing it through A Very Good Production.
‘Simsion and Australian psychiatrist Buist have written an insightful study of loss, grief, and the possibility of romance after.’
‘The 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.’
‘I enjoyed every moment of this informative, funny and sweet novel.’
‘A novel of mature love and self-discovery set against the scenic backdrop of the pilgrims’ walk.’
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist keep it in the family with their cowritten novel Two Steps Forward (Text, October), a romantic comedy told in alternating chapters from the point of view of two wounded souls trekking the Spanish pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago.’
‘This book was difficult to put down until the very end.’
‘Simsion and Buist are Camino veterans who add detail and authority to their novel.’
‘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.’
‘A beautifully crafted tale of love, self-acceptance and blisters’
‘charming, uplifting’ The People
‘charming and absorbing’
‘…an authentic and diverting read that will make you want to put on your walking boots and book a one-way ticket to southern France.’