Wild Water Walking Club falls into the category of a great beach read. This is the fourth Claire Cook title I have enjoyed, starting with Must Love Dogs and Summer Blowout. She is an entertaining author who understands the complexities and inherent contradictions between love, good sense and human behavior.
One of the things I enjoy most about her books is that even though the usual heroines are middle aged women, there are always an eclectic blend of multi-generational characters. These kids, young women, middle aged and seniors interact and create a comfortable mix,
Another aspect of her writing that I always enjoy is here ability to mix totally believable story lines with a couple that stretch credibility. And yet they somehow work together. Probably because you sense that she is more interested in the characters than in some carefully derived plot line.
I am a daily walker -- walk from 2 to 3 1/2 miles a day. A more or less useless urban ritual to keep me fit and clears my head. But all those miles never really seem to add up to anything tangible. These women counted steps and miles and made them count for a concrete goal -- a trip across country.
I love the idea of walking to a goal. The smell of lavender makes me happy. But the whole clothesline thing seemed out of place and kind of lost me. I admit, however, that it makes for a very funny urban guerilla scene later in the book.
I am seriously considering where I want to "walk" to this year. I'll keep you posted.
Here is the publishers recap:
Just put one foot in front of the other. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But when Noreen Kelly takes a buyout from her job of eighteen years and gets dumped by her boyfriend in one fell swoop, she finds it hard to know what that next step is—never mind take it. At first Noreen thinks maybe her redundancy package could be an opportunity, a chance to figure out what to do with the rest of her life while her company foots the bill. Sure, she may have gotten high to “Witchy Woman” and grooved to “Sweet Baby James” back when James Taylor had hair, but she isn’t ready for her AARP card. Not yet.
But it’s the first time in a great many years that Noreen has time to herself—and she has no idea what to do with it. When she realizes that she’s mistaken her resume for her personality, Noreen knows that she has to get moving, so she puts on a new pair of sneakers and a seriously outdated pair of exercise pants, and walks. She doesn’t get very far at first—just to the end of her street, Wildwater Way—but she perseveres, and when she’s joined by her neighbors Tess and Rosie, Noreen realizes that walking is not an extreme sport. It can actually be fun.
As the Wildwater women walk and talk, and talk and walk, they tally their steps, share their secrets, and learn what women everywhere are finding out—that time flies and getting fit is actually fun when you’re walking with friends. Throw in a road trip to Seattle for a lavender festival, a career-coaching group that looks like a bad sequel to The Breakfast Club, a clothesline controversy that could only happen in the ’burbs, plenty of romantic twists and turns, and a quirky multigenerational cast of supporting characters, and the result is an experience that’s heartfelt, exuberant, and above all, real.