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Walter's Muse Hardcover – December 9, 2011

10 customer reviews

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$26.99 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

Review


"Brimming with wit and wisdom...a delightful celebration of mature love, sure to enchant fans of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand!" - Juli Morser, Books by the Way


"An exhilarating portrait of a woman in her prime...revives in all of a us a lust for life, with its splendid twists and turns, gifts of love and friendship, and promises of more surprises to come."
- Nina Sankovitch, Huffington Post, author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair



"For those who believe in second chances in love and life...I hated to finish the last page." - Connie Burns, School Library Journal reviewer, ret.


"A delightful story told with wit and charm." - Ann Combs, Eagle Harbor Books

"For those of us who are also aging children's writers, Walter's Muse is both frighteningly authentic and blessedly amusing." - David Lubar, author of Attack of the Vampire Weenies

About the Author

Jean Davies Okimoto is an author and playwright whose books and short stories have been translated into Japanese, Italian, Korean, Chinese, German and Hebrew. Her first novel for adults The Love Ceiling was the ebook Fiction Winner, Indie Next Generation Awards, named to the American Booksellers Association's Indie Next Reading Group List and an Eric Hoffer Award Finalist. Her numerous awards include Smithsonian Notable Book, the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the Washington Governor's Award, International Reading Association Reader's Choice Award and the Green Earth Book Award. She has appeared on CNN, Oprah, and The Today Show. Her picture book Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat was adapted by Shelly  Duvall for the HBO and Showtime television series "Bedtime Stories." Jeanie began writing for adults in 2004 when she and her husband Joe retired to Vashon Island, Washington where they are visited by deer, a raccoon named George who is missing a tail, and their seven grandchildren.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Endicott and Hugh Books (December 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983711526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983711520
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,119,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jean Davies Okimoto's latest book, The Love Ceiling, was a winner of a 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Award. She is also the recipient of the American Library Association "Best Books for Young Adults" Award, the International Reading Association's Reader's Choice Award, the IRA/CBC Young Adults' Choice Award, the Parents' Choice Award, the Washington Governor's Award, the 1993 Maxwell Medallion for Best Children's Book of the Year, and two of her books have been recognized as Smithsonian Notable Books. In 2007 she received the Green Earth Book Award from the Newton Marasco Foundation and in 2008 the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature honor book, a national award given by the Santa Monica Public Library.

Her publishers include Atlantic Monthly Press, Putnam, Little, Brown & Co., Dell, Scholastic, HarperCollins, and the Simul Press in Japan which has published Japanese editions of her novels My Mother Is Not Married To My Father and It's Just Too Much. Her short stories have also appeared in four Delacourte anthologies, Short Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults. Shelley Duvall produced an animated version of Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat for the series "Bedtime Stories" which was narrated by John Candy and appeared on HBO and Showtime. In connection with her non-fiction title, Boomerang Kids: How to Live with Adult Children who Return Home, she has appeared on the Today Show, the CBS Morning Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and CNN.

Her one-act play, Hum it Again, Jeremy has been produced in schools in Vancouver, Toronto and New York. The Northwest Asian American Theater in Seattle produced the world premiere of Uncle Hideki based on her novel Talent Night and in 2006 produced Uncle Hideki and the Empty Nest. Book-it Repertory Theatre produced The Eclipse of Moonbeam Dawson based on her novel by the same name.

Her other titles include Norman Schnurman, Average Person, a mystery, Who Did It, Jenny Lake?, Jason's Women, Molly By Any Other Name, and Take A Chance, Gramps! which was a Junior Library Guild selection, named to the Lone Star State Reading List, and nominated for the Mark Twain Award and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.

A Place For Grace, published by Sasquatch Books, was the first picture book for a general audience to feature a hearing dog and a deaf character and was praised by Smithsonian as "One of this year's most charming and large-hearted offerings." No Dear, Not Here a picture book about the marbled murrelets, endangered seabirds and their quest for a nest in the Pacific Northwest, is also a Sasquatch title and was designated a 1995 Smithsonian Notable Book for Children.

A member of PEN American Center, the Author's Guild and the Dramatists Guild, she has a master's degree in psychology from Antioch University and is the founder of the Seattle Reading Awards, which recognizes the fifth grade students in the Seattle Public Schools who have shown the most improvement in reading. The program focuses on Chapter One, Bilingual and Special Education students and she has served as its co-chair since the awards began under the sponsorship of the Seattle Reading Association in 1986.

She and her husband Joe live on Vashon Island, Washington. Together they have four grown children, six grandchildren and a dog who thinks it's a person.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ellen M on February 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't regret purchasing the book, but this is probably another good example of why it's good to get a Kindle sample first. I liked the setting, I liked the story, I disliked most of the characters. The protagonist in particular spent most of her time feeling sorry for herself, never took responsibility for her actions and seemed particularly hostile to her sister. Also very whiney, with no attempts to resolve any issues with anybody. This wouldn't bother me if the character was a teenager, maybe just learning her way in the world, but a 65 year old woman? No way. I'm past 50 myself. Okay, way past. But I know better, women my age (at least the ones I know) are way more comfortable in their own skins than this woman.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patricia R. Hamilton on March 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
Fun moments within this gently style. Stays with you.
Making big life changes is hard work and this covered those transitions very well - there is a wisdom found here.

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 in story form.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By My2Cents VINE VOICE on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read several favorable reviews about this book, but sadly I wasn't as impressed. It was definitely a character driven novel, but I found the writing overwrought and lacking substance.

The story takes place on Vaschon Island, Washington, a remote island accessible only by ferry or boat. The locale seemed lovely and the beauty and tranquility the island seemed to offer takes on a life of its own -- makes me want to live there. There are (2) major characters in this story: Walter, a grumpy senior citizen, who is also awell known writer of children's books. He is also a man who has struggled with alcoholism. Maggie, the other main character, is a former school librarian who is now retired. At 65 when she thinks of Walter, she can't help but recalls a much earlier encounter with him when she worked as a librarian. Maggie's also a nosy lady who likes to snoop on others, and she spends much of her time feeling sorry for herself, and the way her life turned out. Both of these characters enjoy their solitude and privacy. There are a few minor characters on the island as well. Miss Martha, a senior, senior citizen who shares wisdom of the ages; she's now 91, and, there is Bill Bailey, Walter's dog who is mentioned so often I had to count him as a key player.

When the story begins, Maggie hears Bill Baily, Walter's dog, howling non stop and goes over to check things out during a high wind and rain storm. She finds Walter has fallen off of a ladder and is injured. She calls for help and he is taken to the hospital. In the interim, Walter asks Maggie to care for his dog, which she does. As the novel progresses, and it is a painfully slow process, they begin to see the good in one another and form a connection.

I can see the appeal of this book for some readers who enjoy setting more than story, but it's just not the type of novel that I typically enjoy, and honestly I didn't care for the main characters either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lydia on May 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are some books that just give that bit of a tingly feeling inside when you start to read them. That feeling that signals that what you are about to read requires several items: a warm blanket, a cup of tea, rain pattering against the window and lots and lots of time to invest.

That's the feeling I got when I cracked open Walter's Muse. I was immediately drawn into a world with mature adults, mystery, intrigue, lure, and promise and I loved it so very much.

The characters in this book were incredible. From the very first instant I was introduced to Walter I felt as if I wanted - no, needed to know more. I needed to know even about his dog! That's some intriguing character writing there.

I did have a few issues with the book (namely pacing issues) but overall, I thought it was a solid, good comfort read and one that I enjoyed very much. It did what I ask of books - let me escape my crazy, stressful world and go somewhere that came alive for me.
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