Elizabeth Best had always wanted to go on a pilgrimage. Colin Bowles had never given it a moment's thought. But by a twist of fate the two barely acquainted writers seize the day and drop everything to retrace one of the oldest pilgrim routes in the western world, through the heart of Spain to Santiago de Compostela.
It was meant to be a stroll in the sun, but they're under-prepared and carrying way too much baggage, in every sense. So what starts out as a physical challenge - it's a thousand kilometres, give or take - very quickly becomes a far greater struggle with demons they've kept hidden in the too-hard backpack for years.
Joined by grumpy monks, mad nuns and French cyclists with too much testosterone the two battle exhaustion and their pasts, fuelled by red wine and a perverse determination not to be beaten by a Spanish heat wave, the mountains or themselves.
Set against a stunning background of golden wheat fields, misty mountains and tumbledown villages that haven't changed in centuries, The Year We Seized the Day is utterly compelling, by turns inspiring, moving and blackly funny, as two very different writers recount with astonishing candour an extraordinary journey of a lifetime.