From the Publisher's Website:
In the wake of the 2004 tsunami, Emily, a young Canadian woman living in Spain, seeks to understand a tragedy in her recent past involving two friends, Gavin and Marcus, along the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trail. Emily recreates her friends’ actions from that fateful summer, piecing together what she knows of their fractured relationship—a connection that stretches back into their adolescence and an event that sent one boy to jail, while the other was allowed to go free. As Emily peels back the layers of the friends she thought she knew, she must also come to terms with her own role in the tragedy that summer and with the secrets that remain.
Spanning the lakes of Ontario, the cliffs of Scotland and the dusty Compostela trail, Step Closer is an evocative and suspenseful novel that explores the meaning of identity and the lifelong struggle to find peace and belonging.
"Step Closer" is, hands-down, one of my favourite books this year to date. First of all, the book is intriguing from the very first page, yet Tessa McWatt never gives away enough details to make the book predictable. The conclusion remains a surprise until the final pages, which made me eager to continue reading. Second, McWatt switches between several stories effortlessly. I wanted to know more about Emily (the narrator's) personal life as she lives with her partner Sam, but I also wanted to know about Gavin (the other main character in the book)'s journey. I never got to a chapter and thought "Oh, not Gavin again!" or "No, not another chapter about Emily!" I enjoyed both stories equally, and the layers present in the book truly demonstrated McWatt's raw talent. The story matter was compelling and not overdone in the least, the characters real, and the narrative believable. Haunting, compelling, and profound, I will read this book again and again.
Thank-you to Deanna at Harper Collins Canada for the review copy. If you're interested in a taste of this book, take a moment to browse inside of it.