Thursday, March 15, 2012

Walter's Muse by Jean Davies Okimoto

2.5 Star

It’s the first summer of her retirement and librarian Maggie Lewis is relishing the unfolding of sweet summer days on Vashon Island: walking on the beach, reading the classics, and kayaking. But in June when a sudden storm hits the island, Maggie’s summer becomes about as peaceful as navigating whitewater. Not only does her wealthy sister arrive uninvited with a startling announcement; but Maggie finds herself entangled with her new Baker’s Beach neighbor, Walter Hathaway. A famous children’s author and recovering alcoholic, Walter has a history with Maggie they would each like to forget.

Lydia - 2.5 Star

I’m not sure I was the right demographic to read Walter's Muse. It’s always so difficult when I don’t enjoy a book to write a negative review, but sadly, this one didn’t capture me as much as I’d hoped. Walter’s Muse provided some thought provoking insights and reflections on retiring and having watched my parents go through this life change recently, it interested me to a point, but overall I couldn’t really connect with this one.
A romantic at heart, I enjoyed seeing love blooming at any age – and the worries that go with it, as well as the possibility that change and happiness are never out of reach if you’re willing to let it in. I loved Martha Jane’s sense of curiosity and zest for life even in her 90’s.  All in all though, I couldn’t really connect to any of the characters and there wasn’t enough to keep me on the edge of my seat, even though there are plenty of positive reviews for this novel.

I felt Walter’s Muse could have benefited from a few more hours in the editing room. There was repetition to be smoothed over, including Maggie using her librarian’s voice multiple times, descriptions of her sister, Mary Jane’s memory issues being reiterated many times over as well as Maggie having to learn about technology as a librarian. Even worse were a couple of flips between the past tense to the present which completely threw me. I also found the novel clichéd at times, especially some of the novel writing aspects, the metaphors, and even the characters.

There were also some things didn’t necessarily jive for me such as how Maggie forgot her sister’s husband’s name when she was characterized as such a people pleaser and how Mary Jane remembered each time she was forgetting something when in many of my experiences with the elderly whose memories are in decline, I’ve found they tend not to always recall that they’ve forgotten something.
Walter’s Muse also needed many more scenes with people for me rather than how Maggie wandered around alone most of the time (particularly the first half of the novel) in her head with long paragraphs describing her every move which I started to skim. I wanted to see an actual Skype conversation with her granddaughter which I think it could have spoken volumes about Maggie’s personality, instead of always being told how she felt about her granddaughter. Also maybe some scenes or phone calls with her daughter? They seemed to be on good terms according to Maggie’s internal dialogue about her. Maybe a phone call to her to complain about her sister’s impending arrival could have helped show her angst more than relaying it in thoughts.
Overall, Walter’s Muse picked up about half way through and I was grateful there were more scenes from that point on to grab on to. If you’re a romantic, enjoy novels are about an older generation and bob along gently and can overlook a few editing glitches, you should enjoy this one.

Connect with Jean Davies Okimoto:

1 comment:

  1. Darn, I'm sorry this book didn't turn out to be a good fit for you, but thanks for being on the tour.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...