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16 February 2010

Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger - A Book Review

Title: Eternal on the Water
Author: Joseph Monninger
Publisher: Pocket
Publication Date: February 16, 2010
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN: 978-1439168332
Genre: Fiction


About the novel:

From the day Cobb and Mary meet kayaking on Maine's Allagash River and fall deeply in love, the two approach life with the same sense of adventure they use to conquer the river's treacherous rapids. But rivers do not let go so easily...and neither does their love. So when Mary's life takes the cruelest turn, she vows to face those rough waters on her own terms and asks Cobb to promise, when the time comes, to help her return to their beloved river for one final journey.

Set against the rugged wilderness of Maine, the exotic islands of Indonesia, the sweeping panoramas of Yellowstone National Park, and the tranquil villages of rural New England, Eternal on the Water is at once heartbreaking and uplifting -- a timeless, beautifully rendered story of true love's power.

My Review:

Eternal on the Water is a stunningly beautiful novel of everlasting love. Written in an almost lyrical prose, the story begins as Jonathan Cobb's wife is found floating in a lake off the Allagash River. While Cobb sits with his wife's body waiting to be airlifted out the next morning, he begins to recount to deputy Sarah, Mary's story beginning with the first time he laid eyes upon her. In an astonishingly loving and realistic manner, the reader is taken back in time, to the moment he first met Mary before his 92-mile trip down the Allagash River. Mary introduces Cobb to her love of life, the wilderness and Mary Fury's beloved chungamunga girls. As Mary explains, all chungamunga girls are eternal on the water. Cobb and Mary quickly fall into love, but before things go too far, Mary informs Cobb that she has Huntington's Disease and proceeds to explain her wishes. She asks him to think about everything before moving forward with their life as one and should Cobb be able to accept Mary's terms, he is to meet her in Indonesia, where she will be visiting her brother Freddy. Eternal on the Water weaves a beautiful, poignant and deeply romantic tale of two young educators who lived and loved fully, each and every day they had together. The character descriptions are brilliantly vivid and the reader rapidly becomes engrossed in the novel and loses tract of time. Eternal on the Water is an excellent novel to curl up with and become wrapped up in this extraordinary tale of love. Be certain to have plenty of tissues handy and be prepared to become a part of Cobb and Mary's lives. This novel would be an excellent choice for any book group.

About the author

Joseph Monninger has published several award-winning YA novels and three books of nonfiction, including the memoir Home Waters, and has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. He lives and teaches in New Hampshire, where he also runs a dog sled team.

I received a complimentary copy of Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger from Simon & Schuster as part of the tour. Receiving a free copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Lorri Jeanne said...

Love your review!

Aths said...

Great review!! I'm looking forward to reading this one!

ibeeeg said...

I read another review that spoke highly of this book. I must say, along with reading your review....I know that I will read this story. It sounds fabulous.

Teddyree said...

Lovely review, I loved this book, I'm sure it will remain one of my favourite reads for 2010.