Reviewed by Jennifer Leisey
When Maggie returns to her home on Vashon Island for the summer, she doesn’t have an over-arching plan for the new, unfamiliar part of her life that she faces: retirement. At the age of sixty-five, Maggie realizes she’s finally reached a point where she doesn’t have to take care of anyone else. She’s free to enjoy the beach, go kayaking, and read classic literature leisurely.
But Maggie’s plans for a low-key summer are quickly interrupted when a severe early season storm sends her neighbor and well-known children’s author, Walter Hathaway, to the hospital, and results in an unwanted visit from Leslie, her flashy younger sister.
Between Leslie’s long list of surprises, Walter and Maggie’s history of failed promises, a screechy, prissy cat, and a slobbering, howling dog who only responds to the song he’s named after, Maggie’s first summer of retirement is anything but easy. But as the old cliché goes, nothing worthwhile in life ever is.
Walter’s Muse is a sweet story about real relationships – without the Hollywood hype and pre-pubescent age limitations. It’s a refreshing reminder that the fire for life doesn’t end with old age. Maggie’s inner turmoil over her feelings about Walter, her guilt towards telling her sister “no”, and her struggle to find purpose in life will be relatable to readers of all ages.
Beyond being about mature love and second chances, Walter’s Muse is a beautiful story about friendship and small town life. There is a wonderful relaxed quality about the friendship between Maggie and the neighbors on Baker’s Beach – especially ninety-five-year-old Martha Jane – that is heartwarming, full of wisdom, and makes you contemplate packing up and moving to an Island yourself.
Also by Jean Davies Okimoto: The Love Ceiling
Since graduating from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Professional Writing, Jenn works as a freelance writer, poet, and blogger at south of sheridan. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, and loves baking, crafting, and anything that requires a hot glue gun.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Endicott and Hugh Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.
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