Another pretty good debut novel, I’m reading a lot of those lately, and that’s really good news.
Coming back to her office and her work football team (football as in soccer) after a business trip, Iris meets Cameron, a new American colleague and teammate. Still hurting not so much from the failure of her last relationship but from the way she behaved after the break-up, Iris has closed herself off to any idea of falling in love again. She’s not immune to Cam’s charms however, and the fact that her new friend is engaged to a ma, and won’t be staying in London forever helps her keep their relationship in check, or so she believes. Cam is not as straight as she seems, and not as indifferent to Iris as she thinks.
In the beginning, One Small Step was too much tell, not enough show, and I was worried I wouldn’t get into the story, but it got a lot better after a while. The pace picked up, and I lost myself in Iris and Cam’s growing feelings and doubts in a very enjoyable way. They’re both endearing characters, and the web of friends and teammates around them is full of interesting people.
A few things puzzled me, for instance how Iris keeps telling Cam she’s so brave and gutsy when she’s so obviously not: she lets her fiancé decide for her all the time, she chose a career she doesn’t care about over her love of writing etc. Another example is how, once they’ve declared their love for each other, they keep questioning it, not trusting either themselves nor the other. As I said, I was puzzled, but it was plausible, I would have been similarly puzzled IRL.
This book undeniably feels like a first novel, which it is so it’s okay, and I’m sure MA Binfield’s writing will keep growing. I’ll keep an eye out for her next book.