The Wildwater Walking Club: Walk the Talk: Book 4 of The Wildwater Walking Club series

Image of The Wildwater Walking Club: Walk the Talk: Book 4 of The Wildwater Walking Club series
Release Date: 
December 11, 2022
Marshbury Beach Books
Reviewed by: 

Winter finds us back in Marshbury, MA, as Noreen Kelly meets up with her buddies, Tess and Rosie, for their usual pre-dawn hikes. Frozen and tired, Tess suggests they “blow off today and walk twice as long tomorrow,” but she is ignored. Noreen and Rosie pull their scarves over their chins to keep warm and proceed with their trek to the beach, thinking about how heated their homes will be when they return. These walks have become their ritual no matter the weather, so nothing will stop them now. This activity is for their physical and mental health, so they can discuss problems and puff off steam figuratively and literally in the icy cold. While together, they can confer about their issues without fear of family members overhearing. 

The current concern is with Noreen, who is at loose ends and depends on her friends to help guide her. While employed as a senior brand identity manager for Balancing Act Shoes she bought a cute bungalow. When the company was sold to another, Noreen finds herself with an 18-month, full-salary and benefit buyout. Funny how time flies. Her finances are petering out, so she worries about the future with the need to keep a roof over her head. Using some of her benefits, she getsd certified as a health coach, but with only one client, it does not cover the bills. Returning to the corporate hassle is not in her plans, so her options are suggestions from her pals and Rick, her current love interest.

Rick is a sculptor with two adult daughters, who are his priority, so the fear is they won’t accept them as a couple. He mentioned selling their homes and building one together on an adjacent lot. Still, lately, he appears to have become distant. Rick has a key to her house and often spends the night, but will their relationship evolve?

Rosie’s parents own a sizeable lavender farm, subdivided into five lots; Noreen’s house is situated on one. When Rosie’s mother passes away, she, her husband, and two sons move in to help her father run the business. Now her dad and Noreen’s mom, Lois, have started a love affair, and the two begin to travel, leaving most of the work to Rosie. Tess, a teacher, owns the parcel next door to Noreen, and as she hopes to downsize, her grown son decides to come back home.

Because of their proximity, the gals are close and meet religiously for their early-morning jaunts and talk-fests. One freezing dawn while walking, they offer suggestions on how Noreen can attract more clients. With the fear of homelessness looming, they brainstorm, advising Noreen to devise a website to advertise her new vocation. Her plan is posted as such:

“As a health coach, I won’t tell you what to do. Instead, it’s more of a partnership. I’ll act as your guild, supporting you as you set a goal and do the work, including SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based) goal-setting, accountability strategies, and healthy habit formation. Let me help you walk the talk toward a life you love.”

A colleague from her old job holds a seminar to promote her new career. Tess also invites her to perform a demonstration for the teachers at her school, which appears promising.

The three of them feel the bleakness of winter and want their lives on track. That’s when the idea hits them: a vacation. But where and how? Tess and Rosie have jobs, and Noreen is flat broke! Pooling their travel miles, they realize they can fly and attain lodging in Savannah for practically nothing. What’s to stop them? A break is needed.

Away for only a few days, the trip is what the doctor ordered. Tess is terrified of flying, so Rosie guides her through acupressure exercises to alleviate anxiety, making the passengers gape at them in alarm. Each with their own personality offers sidesplitting tales connecting them. After all, what is better than the three bestie 40-somethings having time away from the pressures of life? This hilarious and fun-filled holiday is sorely needed to give them a boost toward a brighter future.

Book No. 4 in the Wildwater Walking Club series reunites the companions from previous novels. Although this stands alone, yet one would want to dig into the earlier titles. Claire Cook never fails to grasp the minds of contemporary women to bring insight and humor into any situation. A heart-warming and feel-good read about middle-aged friends solving life’s problems and bringing themselves happiness.