Review & Giveaway: Walter’s Muse by Jean Davies Okimoto
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Endicott & Hugh Books
Publish Date: February 1, 2012
Format: Paperback | 285 pages
Rating: 4 of 5
“Where did the time go?”, Maggie Lewis asked herself. It seemed like it was only yesterday that her daughter was a toddler and would climb in bed with her and her husband. But that was years ago, another life.
Now at age 65 Maggie has long since divorced, her daughter is grown up, and she has retired from her job as an elementary school librarian. Starting a new chapter in her life, she is looking forward to long summer days of unstructured time spent reading, walking on the beach, kayaking and just doing whatever she wants.
After an early summer storm hits, Maggie’s plans make a sudden change. Her neighbor, Walter, is injured when the wind blows down a solar panel and he lands in the hospital for a few days. She offers her assistance which develops into a romance she wasn’t anticipating. Maggie and Walter have a previous history together. As their story unfolds they put the past behind them and their friendship blossoms.
Meanwhile Maggie’s needy, self-absorbed, wealthy younger sister invites herself for a visit. The contrast in the sisters highlighted one of the key themes in the story, that it’s ok to be yourself and that getting old isn’t so bad. Maggie accepts this stage of her life, she embraces it, while her sister is all about looking and acting young, knowing the right people and driving a fancy car.
I liked Maggie. When she would get stressed out she would relax by curling up with a good book, a glass of wine and some chocolates. I could easily picture her doing this in her cottage on Vashon Island, where the novel is set. The author herself lives on the island and from her descriptive prose we can visualize the small town feel, the farmer’s market, the lush gardens, the beaches and the beauty of the area.
This was an enjoyable story about relationships, starting over and second chances. It is told with wit and humor and has an engaging cast of characters.
About Jean Davies Okimoto
Jean Davies Okimoto is an author and playwright whose books and short stories have been translated into Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German and Hebrew. She is the recipient of numerous awards including Smithsonian Notable Book, the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the Washington Governor’s Award, and the International Reading Association Readers Choice Award. Her picture book, Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat was adapted by Shelly Duvall for the HBO and Showtime television series “Bedtime Stories.” She has appeared on CNN, Oprah and The Today Show. Jeanie began writing for adults when she and her husband Joe retired to Vashon Island in 2004 where they are visited by deer, a raccoon named George who is missing a tail, and their seven grandchildren.
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Source: Thanks to TLC and the publisher for providing a review copy.