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The Wildwater Walking Club Hardcover – May 5, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Voice; 1 edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140134089X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401340896
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,541,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The lives of a suddenly jobless corporate executive, a teacher navigating a difficult relationship with her daughter and a young lavender farmer intertwine in Cook's straightforward novel. When a generous compensation package gives Noreen "Nora" Kelly-whose career defined her identity-18 months salary to forge a new path, she realizes she has little in common with her former work companions and strikes up a friendship with next-door neighbor Tess Tabares, who's struggling to connect with her college-bound daughter. The women begin taking daily walks and soon Rosemary "Rosie" Stockton, who owns her family's lavender farm, joins in. Despite their very different-yet all very prickly-personalities, the three women soon form a tight bond. With her easygoing style, Cook (Must Love Dogs) engages readers, drawing them into the daily lives of these new friends. Geographical inconsistencies-the novel is set in Massachusetts but has a distinctive Southern flair-may bother some readers but most will be satisfied with this breezy beach read.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The rest of your life starts with one step. Noreen Kelly learns this the hard way when she takes a buyout offer at her small shoe company and wakes up the day after—jobless, dumped by her slick co-worker, and wondering who she is and what she wants. She becomes tentative friends with Tess and Rosie, and together the women form a walking club, each step bringing them closer together and closer to the life solutions they all seek. Cook creates likable female characters with realistic flaws. The plots are marked with Gilmore Girls–type dialogue and settings, utterly charming from beginning to end. There’s plenty of laughs, anger, sorrow, and rage to keep the story moving along at a breezy pace; and all the subplots involving the multigenerational characters and their kooky suburban antics are tied up nicely. There’s a little more edge here than in a typical “gentle” novel, but more softness than in an edgy “hen-lit” novel. Miss Julia would be proud to be friends with these women. --Stover Kaite Mediatore

Customer Reviews

Too many mild plot lines and not enough character development for me.
The three women begin to walk their way into a friendship that will turn out to be more than they ever expected.
Bingo-Karen Haney
The author has a wonderful writing style and it is so realistically done that I can be the main character.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Sharona Duran on May 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How do you turn a golden handshake into a series of wonderful, touching and life altering adventures? Read "Wildwater Walking Club" for the answer. I loved, loved, loved this book. I have friends with the same friendship as Tess, Rosie and Noreen and I had to call them and share this book with them. I enjoyed it on so many levels. The way these three women started walking, set a goal of 10,000 miles per day and accomplished it was motivational. When one didn't feel like walking the other two pushed her out the door. They had a great support system among the three which was based on commitment to each other and their cause. I loved the character development in the three women, but also in teenaged Hannah, and the senior lovebirds. Also greatly enjoyed their activism and the comic method of their first protest. "Wildwater Walking Club" was pure fun from beginning to end.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Bingo-Karen Haney VINE VOICE on May 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am thrilled to be reviewing Claire Cook's newest book, THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB just out on May 5. Watch out Ya-Ya Sisters, Wives' Clubbers, and Sweet Potato Queens because the WALKERS have arrived! Claire Cook's new book THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB and the walkers are taking over!

In THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB, Claire Cook gives us three wonderful women who are neighbors on Wildwater Way and at first don't even know each other. It all starts when Noreen Kelly's "boyfriend" convinces her to take a buyout from her corporate position in a shoe company, and she thinks she has made the best choice. However, she soon realizes that her love wasn't just working for the other company but was working her, and Noreen is dumped by the boyfriend and the company. In a fit of frustration and shock, she uses her actually void company ID and buys up every shoe in her size at the corporate shop for 50% off. With that, Noreen takes her shoes and heads home to Wildwater Way to try and figure out what is left of her life.

Sure that her life is over, Noreen sees nothing around her but what she is missing. Not until she makes friends with Tess, her next door neighbor, does Noreen start to realize that maybe her life isn't over after all. Tess, the school teacher who is off for the summer, dealing with a college-bound daughter who isn't speaking to her mom, and Noreen start walking together and they start to talk to each other about life. A third member living on Wildwater Way comes to the group as they meet Rosie. Rosie knows she was doing the right thing moving into her parents' home after her mom died, bringing her family with her, and taking over the lavender farm on her parents' property, but it isn't what she had hoped for.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. Wilson on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was not my favorite of hers, by far! If this is your first book by Claire Cook, don't judge all of her work based on this. Ms. Cook has a wonderful writing style that you don't see very often. it's like a girlfriend talking to you in a way that you want to just keep listening. My favorite is Must Love Dogs and then Summer Blowout. I didn't really care about the characters, there was WAY too much talk about lavender, and adding the part about the teacher and the clotheslines was just odd and disjointed I thought. Maybe a beach or weekend read because it was so light and quick but I'm glad it's done.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Janice A. Belmonte on May 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hey, Everyone!

Time to head to the sporting goods store and purchase a new pair of walking shoes. Because, while reading this energizing, inspiring and thoroughly entertaining novel, you're going to be itching to get started.

Wildwater Walking Club is about three women; neighbors who start walking together more due to proximity than anything else. But who in so doing, discover that even though they are in different phases of their respective lives, they share more in common than not. What starts as a need for companionship develops into comraderie which becomes the real friendship that is "The Wildwater Walking Club". The adventures, high jinx, escapades, relationships and life exploration that follow will leave you not only laughing out loud but also believing that you, too can achieve the life YOU step at a time! (I must caution that you may very well develop an affinity for lavender-infused champagne along the way!)

Claire, you've again succeeded in crafting an engaging, amusing, rousing yet sensitive tale - a really satisfying read to which all of your many fans will relate. I can't wait for the next one. Thanks!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Helen S. Andrews on August 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book was highly recommended by a 70-something woman when we were discussing clotheslines. . .a topic that passes as a weak subplot in the story. What tries to present itself as a story of a woman finding her true self through adversity (how lucky for her she had a high powered job that offered a huge buyout, unlike most of us who get laid off with two weeks salary and no career building benefits), turns out to be a predictable tale of a woman looking for a man.

If you are not a lover of everything "lavender," run, do not walk away from this book. And the town ban on clotheslines - how "convenient" that the women left town just as their rebellion was caught on camera and then someone else voluntarily took the blame (why - never explained). When something akin to "drama" takes place, instead of being forced to fend for themselves on a sandspit leading to a lighthouse in a state park, they are once again rescued in an obvious way.

Can a woman who was probably earning a six-figure salary actually afford to live in a seaside home in Massachusetts on what she earns selling handpainted gadgets on the internet? Oh, I forgot, she found a man who is also leaving the corporate world behind - but wait - he also has no visible means of future support! Well, in "chick lit" that's considered a happy ending.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

CLAIRE COOK wrote her first novel in her minivan at 45. At 50, she walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the movie adaptation of her second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. She is now the USA Today bestselling author of 13 books, and a sought after reinvention speaker. If you have a buried dream, take it from Claire, it is NEVER TOO LATE!

Claire has reinvented herself once again by turning Must Love Dogs into a series, as well as writing her first nonfiction book, Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way), in which she shares everything she's learned on her own journey that might help you in yours.

Find out more and read excerpts at

Claire loves connecting with her readers and is forever grateful to them for giving her the gift of her midlife career. Stay in the loop for future releases, giveaways and insider extras at and connect with Claire on Facebook (ClaireCookauthorpage), Twitter (ClaireCookwrite) and Pinterest (ClaireCookwrite).

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