|Two Steps Forward|
Genre:travel, contemporary novel
Setting: The Chemin, also known as the Camino de Santiago, is a centuries-old pilgrim route that ends in Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain.
I loved this book, told from the point of view of a woman in her 40s or 50s and a man of the same age, walking from Cluny in France to Santiago in Spain on an old pilgrimage route. Though it's a novel, the book reads as if written by people who have travelled the Camino many times and know of what they speak! And in fact the authors are seasoned walkers of the pilgrim's route in Spain.
In the novel, the fictitious Martin and Zoe meet on the trail, traveling by foot from France and into northern Spain on the famous route. Martin pulls a cart he designed to hold his gear and hopes to sell the design to anyone who would buy it and manufacture it for public use. Zoe, using a backpack, is on the trail to try to escape memories of the very recent death of her husband, Keith.
They have many setbacks along the Camino, meet interesting people from different countries, sometimes walking together and other times separately, and have varied experiences staying in hostels, hotels, pensions, and bed and breakfasts along the way. The narrators describe the terrain and each little town they enter, in detail.
This is not only a travel story, about the experiences of walking over 2,000 kilometers, but also a love story of sorts. The book made me want to get into shape and travel along the Camino myself, and I've put the trail on my bucket list!
Objective rating: 5/5. Thanks to William Morrow for the review copy.
|The flawed main character in Sunburn didn't get my sympathy even though she endured a lot in order to get to her final goals. Interesting plot and character; the book was entertaining even though not memorable. I gave it four stars.|
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