Walter's Museby Jean Davies Okimoto
It's the first summer of her retirement and librarian Maggie Lewis is relishing the unfolding of sweet summer days on Vashon Island: walking on the beach, reading the classics, and kayaking. But in June when a sudden storm hits the island, Maggie's summer becomes about as peaceful as navigating white water. Not only does her wealthy sister arrive uninvited with a startling announcement; but Maggie finds herself entangled with her new Baker's Beach neighbor, Walter Hathaway. A famous children's author and recovering alcoholic, Walter has a history with Maggie they would each like to forget.
- Endicott and Hugh Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.81(d)
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This was a great story to read. The characters are so well fleshed out, you are sure to identify with at least one of them. Maggie has retired from her school librarian job and moved to Vashon Island. She wants to relax, kayak and be left alone. She grew up feeling neglected most of her life. She shares the island with a group of interesting characters. Howie and Mark are a couple who are more than willing to help anyone. They provide fresh produce from their garden. Miss Martha is 91 years old and full of wisdom, as well as a fantastic outlook on life and aging. Then there is Walter. Walter is a well known children’s author and former alcoholic. He is a cranky man who wants nothing more than to be left alone to write. The book opens with a storm. The high winds have caused Walter to fall from a ladder. Maggie who has a history with Walter finds him and gets him help. He asks that she take care of his dog Bill Bailey. While she is handling all of this her sister decides to drop in with some news. Maggie throughout the book grows and learns to stand up for herself. She is full of flaws which made her so believable. She is a person who likes to snoop through other peoples’ things. She admits feeling guilty about it, yet she justifies her reasons for doing it. She and Walter are both people who change throughout the book. It is not one of those books where you find a quick romance or answer to a problem. The relationship develops gradually so that it is believable. I identified with Maggie. Looking at her was like looking at my former self. I’ve had to fight for years not to be my family’s doormat. I love Martha’s bits of wisdom. Even though she is forgetting things more and more she continues to keep a very positive outlook. I enjoyed the book so much I want to recommend it to everyone. I am glad I was given the opportunity
After losing sleep reading The Love Ceiling, the first of Jean Davies Okimoto's Puget Sound trilogy, I planned to read Walter’s Muse, the second, at a slower pace. However, I quickly learned when it came to feisty Maggie Lewis, sleep was not an option. On page one, she became a friend I wanted to know better. By the end of chapter two, we were sisters-by-choice. Upon retirement from her career as a school librarian, Maggie looked forward to planning her future over a tranquil summer among trusted friends and neighbors on enchanting Vashon Island, WA. However, from weather that refused to cooperate, to a demanding sister, and neighbor Walter Hathaway, a children’s author from the past she wanted to forget, Maggie got anything but tranquility. Challenges about choices, friendship, family, love, and aging reminded Maggie, and those of us who learned to love her, that nothing we’ve experienced is wasted. If you like intelligent reads filled with quirks, twists, humor, and characters that may well act like people you know, grab a copy of Walter's Muse and enjoy.
I originally reviewed this book on my blog Patricias Wisdom and gave it a high rating and now I want to write about it again and give it another high mark, because last night an 11 person book group discussed this book, added an extra hour to the evening because they found it so touched their own lives and hearts they felt open to share their fears, joys and laughter discovered in this fictional story. It is a story about one of our local island communities and some new arrivals; how they bond and change is an important part of the story. People who live on an island need to connect and respect and this tale emphasized these wonderful qualities with a diverse group of characters. Maggie has just retired from being a school librarian and is giving herself a year to just enjoy being herself - rediscover what she wants to be and do. A very good plan for an introvert then again it is not to be with all the twists and turns a person can find blowing her way in a big wind storm of change. My group of folks discussing the book covered a wide range of ages and each was able to connect with a depth and the gentle telling opened something in their lives they wished to share, several times for the first time. We all discussed sisters and mothers and aging and wisdom. We found something to laugh about and looked at the diversity of the little community of the book - the cove. Where there is fear their can be hope and this writer covered both angles. Fabulous metaphors. Lots of fun moments to enjoy in this gently read. I have read it several times, and the discussion group thought they would read it again too after the discussion. We all want to be recognized, appreciated and find community and this book enhanced our little group and accomplished just those good things.