In the wake of the 2004 tsunami, Emily, a young Canadian woman living in Spain, embarks on an effort to understand a tragedy involving two friends, Gavin and Marcus, along the Santiago de Compostela pilgrims’ trail. Determined to understand their thoughts and motivations and her own role in the incident, Emily recreates her friends’ actions that summer and what lead them to that fateful moment. But Emily’s obsession with the past comes at the expense of her present -- she does not see the signs that her partner, Sam, is becoming increasingly distant, spending late nights at his virology lab at the university and withdrawing from her for his own hidden reasons.
Spanning the lakes of Ontario to the streets of London to the dusty Compostela trail, Step Closer is both thoughtful and suspenseful. With deep insight and beautiful prose, Tessa McWatt has created a novel that explores the many layers of identity, and the lifelong struggle to find peace and belonging.