When I pick up a Claire Cook book, I know exactly what I’m getting myself into. I know that I’m going to laugh, I know that I’m going to spend time with some quirky, relatable characters, and I know that I’m going to come away feeling totally inspired. These are the things Claire does best, and they are all front and center in her newest book, The Wildwater Walking Club: Back on Track.
A follow-up to the warm and witty Wildwater Walking Club, Back on Track reunites us with neighbors Noreen, Tess, and Rosie and invites us along on the next leg of their step-counting adventure. There’s only one problem—a year after the unlikely friends started their walking (and talking) group, they’re in serious danger of disbanding. They’re avoiding each other in the supermarket, ducking behind hedges in their yards, and ringleader Noreen—when she isn’t stressing about her buyout package running out or wondering what’s going on with her struggling relationship—has made two new best friends: Ben and Jerry. Rather than throwing in the Fitbits (or throwing the Fitbits in the dryer to get in a bit more activity), the ladies rally and plan a lavender lover’s trip of a lifetime—a French river cruise in Provence. In the land of van Gogh, bouillabaisse, and lavender fields forever, the ladies of the Wildwater Walking Club take another lap in the track of self-discovery, navigating the journey of who they are, what they want, and how many steps it will take to get there.
Reinvention is the running theme of Claire Cook’s books, and it’s the very thing that makes her characters so appealing. Whether it’s Rosie’s mixed emotions about taking over her family lavender farm, Noreen’s self-doubt about becoming a health coach, or Tess’s attempts at mastering the perfect topknot, the women of the Wildwater Walking Club remind us that every fork in the road can lead to a new, unexpected track, and they show us—as Claire Cook always says—that it’s never too late to shine on. From cover to cover, this novel is packed with humor, heart, and the spirit of friendship, and it left me feeling inspired and motivated for my own next chapter. It almost makes me want to start a walking club of my own.
Almost being the key word. It’s winter in New England! Although I’m sure someone I know would love it.
The Wildwater Walking Club: Back on Track is a friendship-filled delight and may be just the pick-me-up you need to get through those pesky winter blues. While the novel does stand on its own, I definitely recommend reading the first book as well, so you can follow Rosie, Noreen, and Tess every sneaker-clad step of the way. So put down your Fitbit and climb aboard on Claire Cook’s wonderful new adventure. You’ll be smelling lavender and dreaming of Provence before you know it.