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March 22, 2012 / Leslie

Review & Giveaway: Walter’s Muse by Jean Davies Okimoto

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.

Visit Jean’s website.
Complete Tour Schedule


If you would like a chance to win a copy of Walter’s Muse

  • Leave a comment by Monday, April 2nd
  • Giveaway is open to addresses in US and Canada only
  • Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond with a mailing address.

[Contest now closed]

Source: Thanks to TLC and the publisher for providing a review copy.



Leave a Comment
  1. sagustocox / Mar 22 2012 4:05 am

    This sounds like a great read, and the cover for some reason reminds men of Ernest Hemingway and The Old Man in the Sea.


  2. Karen B / Mar 22 2012 5:20 am

    It’s so nice to read about people my age – OK, a “bit” younger than me – starting over, having relationships, etc. I want to read this book!!!



    • Leslie / Mar 22 2012 9:46 am

      It was a pleasure to read about older folks, a point in life I’m fast approaching, who are treated as vibrant individuals that are still learning, growing, and loving life.


  3. Mary / Mar 22 2012 6:46 am

    Ooh, I’m intrigued by the premise and your review. Please toss my name into the giveaway hat!


  4. Dianne / Mar 22 2012 6:58 am

    This story interest me since I look forward to sun, salt and a good book on the beach. Also love the cover.


  5. cmh512 (@cmh512) / Mar 22 2012 10:52 am

    I love the setting of this book…The characters and the story line sound
    fabulous…Many thanks for this opportunity!


  6. avisannschild / Mar 22 2012 11:07 am

    I regret passing up the chance to review this one for TLC! It sounds like a fun read. Please enter me in the giveaway!


  7. Carol N Wong (@Carolee888) / Mar 22 2012 12:16 pm

    I can identify with Maggie in this book. I retired three years ago and it is nothing like I imagined.
    Would to read this book.


  8. BermudaOnion / Mar 22 2012 1:08 pm

    Maggie sounds like my kind of character. The book sounds great!


  9. Margaret / Mar 22 2012 4:41 pm

    Definitely sounds like an interesting read. Count me in! Thanks!



  10. Suko / Mar 22 2012 7:33 pm

    Thanks for hosting this great giveaway, Leslie. I will post it in my blog’s sidebar. 🙂


  11. Diane@Bibliophile By the Sea / Mar 23 2012 8:20 am

    Leslie, I really like the sound of this one. I’ve been enjoying books about older adults — The Odds, Emily Alone, etc, and think this one sounds terrific. Thanks for the great review.


  12. Diane@Bibliophile By the Sea / Mar 23 2012 8:21 am

    Oh sorry – PLEASE PLEASE enter me in you giveaway! Thanks so much


  13. dogsMom / Mar 23 2012 8:10 pm

    As I am getting older I appreciate the intricacies of sibling relationships.
    I reinvent myself on a regular basis.


  14. puttputt1198eve / Mar 24 2012 5:31 am

    This sounds like a truly grown-up story with grown-up themes, meaningfuly ones that we all deal with at one point or other in our lives. Thanks for a chance to read it and reflect on our own lives and choices!


  15. harvee / Mar 24 2012 3:30 pm

    I’d love to win a final copy of this book!

    harvee44 at


  16. Heather J. @ TLC / Mar 24 2012 6:58 pm

    I enjoy books about finding love later in life – the stories are always complicated yet real. Glad to see this was one of the good ones!

    Thanks for being on the tour.


  17. Anita Yancey / Mar 24 2012 8:07 pm

    This book sounds really good and interesting. I love that the characters are older and closer to my own age. Please enter me. Thanks!


  18. Jennifer Ryder / Mar 29 2012 10:17 am

    It’s never too late to change your life and find new love. You just have to remain open for it.
    I’d love to read this!
    jryder416 at yahoo dot com


  19. Vicki / Mar 30 2012 10:14 am

    I have this book on my Amazon WL so would be thrilled for the chance to win it!



  20. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea / Apr 1 2012 6:00 pm

    I LOVE LOVE the sound of this one and hope I win a copy of Walter’s Muse.

    bibliophilebythesea AT gmail dot com


  21. Maureen / Apr 2 2012 4:16 pm

    It looks like a good story.



  1. Jean Davies Okimoto, author of Walter’s Muse, on tour February/March 2012 | TLC Book Tours
  2. Giveaway Winners & Upcoming Events « Under My Apple Tree

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