Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist

By Lynn Willoughby

Two Steps Forward ~ Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist

A funny and profound book about being comfortable with who you are and what you are good at….”  Bill Gates
Martin and Zoe don’t know each other.  Martin is English, Zoe is American.  They each commit to walking the centuries old pilgrim route that ends in Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain.  Their paths cross many times as they walk and we, the reader, are treated to alternating chapters of their histories, their grief, family, finances, passions, work, tears, loss, physical pain, friendship and their renewal as they reach the end.
This renewal is physical, psychological and spiritual.  Although walking 2038 km does not appear anywhere on my bucket list, Zoe learns she can walk.  My attachment to Zoe, Martin, the Brazilians, the Spainish Men’s Club and other characters they meet on the trail was very real.  And very entertaining.  I felt very invested and cheered them on to finish the walk, no matter what.
This book is well written and humourous.  Authors are husband and wife who have also done this pilgrimage.  Each of the characters has a unique voice, their own reason for the trek, their individual perception of the terrain, the food and hostel living.  And the title is perfect!  Don’t we all walk our path, not necessarily the Camino, two steps forward?  Call it a win if it is only one step back!
The essence of this book is about believing in yourself and being your truest self.  It was a joy to read.  It was humourous, sad. heart warming, full of quirky characters, sharing, listening, blisters, tears and laughter.  What are you waiting for?  Start reading.
  •  The Rosie Project
  •  The Rosie Effect
………………………..and others

Who Knew?

The origin of hosteling was by a German school teacher, Richard Schirrmann.  He began the hostel movement in 1909 to enable poor city youngsters  to get out in the country and breathe fresh air.
Today, hostels provide budget friendly sociable accommodations where guests can rent a bunk, share a bathroom and sometimes a kitchen.

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