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THE REINVENTION OF ALBERT PAUGH: A Novel Story about retirement ~Jean Davies Okimoto

Monday, August 17th, 2015

I can hardly wait to tell you about this delightful story, the third in Okimoto’s trilogy about Vashon Island and its special landmarks and the culture of living on an island close to a huge and popular city.   The book came into my computer as a digital file and I needed to make a list of 10 things I was going to accomplish before I read the first page because I knew I would just be hooked right away and unable to do anything else.   The author is a great story telling wizard with just the most remarkable humor, she must have a twinkle in her eye at all times.  She certainly has caught island life and the foibles and emotions of the folks who inhabit and live within it’s confines.

TLC Book Tours has now sent me each of the books Okimoto has written for review.  I am just so lucky.  THE LOVE CEILING   was the start and then we moved onto WALTER’S MUSE.    The wise philosopher has turned 90 and is included into this new story, along with Maggie and Walter and Howie and Mark but the cast has expanded to include more of the folks who are a part of Albert Paugh’s life and veterinary practice.

The characters are so believable and may just remind you of someone you know and enjoy.  I felt a need to call one of my neighbors and also to entice my husband into reading this story as he is looking forward to retirement with no major plans except to paint and walk our dog.  He may just find himself confused also.

Dr. Paugh has had a heart attack and his wife persuaded him to sell his practice and retire.  It was just in time, as she needed help to heal from a lung cancer, which changed her life and what she wanted for her future.  Albert was not included in that future and after 24 years he is about to become divorced.  His wife never did like Bert, his chocolate lab, and now the two must find a new place to live and what to do with their time.

The single women, of a certain age and dog owners are quite interested in Dr. Paugh’s new status and this is becoming a problem that sends Al and Bert to the beach for long walks.

I was able to persuade my large book group to read WALTER’s MUSE  and I think I will have luck again with THE REINVENTION OF ALBERT PAUGH.  What will we all do at retirement? And how will we feel useful and of service to others and what will capture our energies in a good way and in a concerning way?
It was delightful to see how Dr. Paugh and the folks on Vashon Island were taking hold and making a difference to so many.

From the Book:

“Jean Davis Okimoto is an author and playwright whose books and short stories have been translated into Japanese, Italian, Chinese, German, Korean, Danish and Hebrew.  She is the recipient of numerous awards including Smithsonian Notable Book, The American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the Washington Governor’s Award, the Green Earth Book Award, and the International Reading Association Readers Choice Award.  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, who is also a retired psychotherapist, began writing for adults when she and her husband Joe retired to Vashon Island in 2004 where they (and their dogs Bert and Willie) are visited by deer families and their six grandchildren.”

This book is for anyone who likes a good story, has retired, is failing retirement, and enjoys a fun read.  One does not need to read all three stories but they are so fun, Why not? THE REINVENTION OF ALBERT PAUGH

The Love Ceiling
Walter’s Muse

Walter’s Muse ~Jean Davies Okimoto

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

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