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Walter’s Muse ~Jean Davies Okimoto

Walter’s Muse  is enchanting, delightful, fun and just a lovely read by a fine storyteller.  This is the second book I have had the pleasure to read by Jean Davies Okimoto the first was The Love Ceiling, which came at a nearly perfect interval in my life.  This new book was another arrival with perfect timing.

Maybe I should say that when the time is right the right book will come!  Because Walter’s Muse  is about the first days and months as a children’s librarian is easing into retirement.  Maggie is a Vashon Island resident and knows the island routine.  She has purchased a new kayak for her paddling adventure but is planning on just letting this new phase of her life gradually occur.

You just know that that serene concept is not going to be part of the story and the book begins with the arrival of a wind storm, which entangles Maggie into her quirky and resilient neighbors’ lives.   As is want in any tight knit community each resident has their own unique story and resolve mixed in with the individualistic qualities that highlight the people of the Pacific Northwest.   The characters are real and ordinary and I found myself so happy that for the number of pages ahead they just lived right next door.

Okimoto has an impressive list of published children’s, picture, and young adult books to her credit.  I see that the book flap includes plays and some non- fiction.  I wish I had read her book about children moving back home, but shutter at the possibility that if I do read it, it just might happen to us again! In Walter’s Muse there is a new voice emerging in Okimoto’s writing,  whereas the LOVE CEILING reflected that quandary  of what to tackle next and autonomy, this voice gently touched the end of life theme, but brought it to the flow of living each day in contentment and discovery; weathering the storms.  There is peacefulness in this storytelling, even with the bumps and tweaks that make a story move along and keep you turning the page.  I think this story teller just gets better and better at her craft.

So what does one do when the snow, wind and ice knock out the power, well this ONE moved her best reading chair right next to the window, put her puppy on her lap, wrapped up in a blanket and read until there was no more daylight?  It was a cozy vacation and we were warm, dry and safe discovering how Maggie weathered her storm!  This book is a wise, witty and warm read.

I am intending to use some of the powerful and amazing quotes from this book as whole posts in the future, but here is one that just gives you a sense:

From outside the restaurant

This book was sent to me by TLC book Tours and I did receive a copy from Endicott and Hugh Books
tlclogoAuthor- Walter's Muse


Ms. Okimoto is giving away a copy of her book Walter’s Muse to the best comment for this book review.

TLC on line book Tours is promoting Walter’s Muse at the Book Club of the Month contest for March, by giving away 10 copies of the book on their site. Details to follow.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. (Kindle)

Related Reading:
The Love Ceiling
Dancing in the Shadows Of Love
Hannah Coulter
Olive Kitteridge

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10 Responses to “Walter’s Muse ~Jean Davies Okimoto”

  1. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. sounds a lovely read with lots of insights into island life and the ups and downs of the storms of weather and retiring in that slowing down time of life .. cheers Hilary

    Patricia Reply:

    I really enjoyed this book Hilary and hope my review will give it a good boost. Just a wonderful read…and full of my kind of whimsey

  2. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    The tight knit community and its residents sound like we have have a whole new town to love as much as the beloved mythical Mitford in Jan Karon’s “Mitford” series.

    Patricia Reply:

    This lovely read of a book just makes me think of Terrill at Creative Potager and her island life/style

    Jean’s first book was about the Artists in the island life – The Love Ceiling I listed above for the link

    To top it off, I have just come in from the mailbox, which held a personal note from the author and it is as gorgeous as the book

    Yes, I think it could become a whole series like Mitford

  3. Jannie Funster Says:

    Does love have a ceiling? I think not, eh? No beginning and no end.

    TWO books by Ms. Okimoto you dangle before me, you wonderfully naughty Patricia. She sounds as good as the gal who wrote “Olive Kitteridge,” the book you turned me on to and I still think of often — perhaps always will. Little scenes that stick with me as vividly as ones I’ve actually lived.

    Now I’ll be hooked on Okimoto as I am on Strout. Thank you!!

    Walter’s Muse — great cover too. Hopefully the typewriter stayed out of the water. :0

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    Patricia Reply:

    I enjoy her books very much and that they have a local connection makes the stories even more fun. That these are ordinary people and situations – delightful

    The cover is clever!
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  4. Wynona Says:

    I love that quote! :) i’m interested about reading this book one of these days.. Thanks for sharing this!
    Wynona recently posted..Unlock iPhone 4My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Welcome and yes it is a great quote.
    I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did and maybe like me you have stacks to get through before getting to this one?
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  5. Sam Juliano Says:

    Patricia, this does seem like a perfect choice for areading group for all kinds of reasons. Am not familiar with this author, nor her previous works, but I just learned what I am missing. Like the parallel to Terrell you make to Laurie in the comment section too.

    Will do some research now online.

    Patricia Reply:

    Most of her work is children’s work and plays…she is just branching out to more adult reads and I love that her stories are about ordinary people – made special in the telling.

    Ms Okimoto sent me a lovely handwritten note about my book review – I would just love to have a cup of tea with her.
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