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The Wildwater Walking Club


The Wildwater Walking Club

Life works in funny ways sometimes. One day, you’re on top of the world, with everything going for you. The next day, you’re sliding into a sinkhole so deep it feels as though you’ll never be able to dig yourself out. It’s like that for Noreen Kelly. One day, she has an incredible boyfriend and a promising career. The next day, the guy is making himself scarce and she has taken a pretty much mandatory buyout on her job. Unaccustomed to such pitfalls, she allows herself to indulge in self-pity, augmented by binges of Ben & Jerry’s and slogging through the long days in her robe.

“How did it start, this downward spiral? At what point did I lose myself to sixty-hour work weeks, slovenly behavior, and really crappy taste in men?”

At least Noreen has enough sense to realize that she can’t stay inside the ice cream carton forever. And there’s a bonus: Her ex-employer is involved in athletic shoes. Since she doesn’t know how long before her employee discount is cut off, Noreen gets moving and turns to buying sneakers instead of Chunky Monkey. Now all she needs is to put them to good use.

On Wildwater Way, Noreen hooks up with a couple of neighbor ladies, both of whom need the exercise as much as she does, only for very different reasons. They pair up, lace up and head out. Before long, the Wildwater Walking Club is in full force. The ladies work hard every morning, pedometers fired up along with their motivation, and step by step they get back into shape. All that hard work, they decide, deserves a reward. The only question is: What should it be?

Choosing just the right way to repay themselves for their remarkable discipline turns out to be almost as much fun as the reward itself. Of course, it must involve a journey, one that takes them far enough that it will at least equal their daily walking efforts. The energy Noreen used to put into her job takes a new direction, leading her down creative paths she never knew she had. The other two grow to enjoy their newfound focus, too, giving them a new outlook and an understanding of what’s truly important to them. Once the trio that calls itself the Wildwater Walking Club gets going, they turn out to be unstoppable. And their enthusiasm just may be infectious!

Claire Cook’s book is as much about friendship as it is about the journey getting there. These three women find that their routine becomes a necessity, an obsession, and ultimately a reward. As they walk, they learn about each other, about themselves, and about the world. And each one learns to conquer her demons. THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB is a feel-good novel. By the end, you can’t help but feel that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and just get going.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on May 5, 2009

The Wildwater Walking Club
by Claire Cook

  • Publication Date: April 20, 2010
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Voice
  • ISBN-10: 1401341233
  • ISBN-13: 9781401341237