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Walter's Muse Hardcover – December 9, 2011
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
"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."
"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.
Top customer reviews
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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.
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.
This book has the same setting and a few of the same characters as Okimoto’s previous, The Love Ceiling. I was expecting the story to pick up where that one left off but it went in a totally different direction. Maggie herself was a bit temperamental for me. She didn’t have a good relationship with her sister and didn’t even want to really work on making it better, she seemed to bond more with the cat she initially hated than the only other family she had left. And her relationship with Walter could have been much better. She gave into him easily as soon as the physical desire was there for both of them. I don’t know if it is that I am younger than the intended audience but I was not pulled in by the romance between the two, it just felt awkward to me. Walter almost seemed bipolar. He was up and then down, with really high highs and super lows. His best relationship was with his dog, which is the relationship I believed most actually.
The writing drags at times but does a good job of exposing the reader to wheat it would be like to be in that region, older and trying to find happiness in a time when so much of your life is changing and you aren’t sure what to do with yourself. It is easy to define success and what your life actually means to you by your work and not those around you. Maggie and Walter were both very successful and could see that at the end by the way so many rallied to help them and there was true joy for everyone involved in their efforts. Maggie’s sister on the other hand felt she had to have that label and money and a man in her life to feel any kind of success and happiness. There were several moments, especially towards the end, I thought I had it figured out what way the story was going, and for the most part I had it pegged. I few things surprised me which were nice. I do have to admit I skimmed at times because it felt like a bit of an information dump that could have been avoided and made the book move much faster. Overall it was an enjoyable read.