Authors: Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist | Adult Fiction | 356 pages
Phew! That was a looong read. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the thickest book I’ve ever read and the margins are bigger than I would’ve liked, it’s the slow-burn stretch from the start until the last one third of the book for me. I picked this up in the first week of February. I stopped reading at one point and binged-watched Grey’s Anatomy instead. Then I forced myself to get it over with because I can never escape the nagging voice in my head whenever I leave books halfway. Quite a negative start to a review isn’t it? Well I’m sorry I guess? I think part of the reason is that adult fiction in romance isn’t really my genre. My sister bought this from an online book sale so not to trying be wasteful, I thought I’d give it a go.
However, this story still deserves some stars because:
- I think the husband-and-wife-authors’ collaboration on a romance novel is endearing! Married couple goals who?!
- The characters’ experiences taking on the Camino has inspired me to take more walks outside. Camino de Santiago is a network of pilgrims’ routes that starts in France leading to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Martin and Zoe travelled 12,000 miles on foot in 3 months, facing a handful of obstacles along the way. I don’t hear a lot of middle-aged people like them from where I’m from so I think it’s impressive.
- The Camino helped the characters resolve problems that had brought them there in the first place. Well, not the legit trail but the people they encounter aside from their new-found enlightenment.
- The authors share insight about the pilgrimage culture of the Camino. Although I think the book was initially “boring,” I do find the pilgrimage interesting. Everyone walks for a different combination of reasons, styles and duration. Some long-haul (and broke) pilgrims like Zoe even endured cold nights outside in the rain. Not to mention the possibility of injuries like Martin had.
I’d rate this 5/10. The number could’ve gone higher if it took less than 2 weeks for me to finish 🙂
———— SPOILER ALERT BELOW! ————–
Referring to no. 4, Martin and Zoe resolved their family issues through forgiveness. Martin forgave his ex-wife for cheating and Zoe forgave her late mother for disowning her. Offering the olive branch is not easy, especially when you think you’re the righteous one. This takeaway is quite personal for me as I might have to do the same thing to someone soon. She’s family but I haven’t spoken to her for over a year. I think it’s time.