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Sunltcloud
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

 

I learned about two events in this post that I really didn't want to know about yet. Please, when replying within the chapter setting, don't reveal more than has been written within the chapters. Or else, type SPOILER into the Subject line and I will refrain from reading the post. Thank you.

vpenning wrote:

Knowing the ending: What effect does it have on your reading to open the novel with Mary's death presented to us first, and Cobb beginning to tell a ranger about her? Did this capture your attention or repel you, or both?

 

I have read many books that begin at the end. Although not my favorite way to start the book, I am aware that many love stories end with the couple getting together...so essentially you know the ending before you even open the cover of the book. So, with that said, knowing how it would end did not repel me, as I know that for any true love, it is the journey getting there that is the best part. And, this love story did not disappoint.

 

Most love stories begin with complications and reversals, but the love story between Mary and Cobb is absolutely passionate and --relatively--psychologically uncomplicated from the first page. What effect does this have on  you? Do you believe in immediate true love like this one?

 

Yes, I am a believer of true love QUICKLY, not at first sight....  I felt that Cobb had intrigue before love, and then lust. And eventually love...they just happened faster.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

 

At first I thought they were going to be an intrigal part of the story line...I even thought that her sleep walking might have contributed to here death...could have actually explained how she got into the water...but, then it did not seem to have much bearing. I am not sure if the nightmare was a precurser to the disease, or just a red herring to throw the reader off....

 

 

What do you make of the wedding that the Chungamunga girls arrange for them? How seriously do all of them take it?

 

When the same words are repeated at the real wedding, you realize how significant that ceremony was for Mary. For the girls that may not live -like Myrtle-it is also significant in that this may be one wedding that they might be able to help plan and attend...a dream many little girls have.

 

What do you make of Mary's conditions for Cobb for continuing to be together? Could you know the test results without telling her?

 

Since Mary's mother indicates that she believes that Mary has known for years, it is not hard for Cobb not to tell. He is quite aware that Mary probably knows, it is just unspoken. In addition, since her symptoms present themselves very soon after he learns the test results, it is almost moot that he himself has learned. It just was put into writing.


 

 

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inkslngr
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

The beginning of the book with Mary's death drew me in.  I wanted to know more about what happened and what would make her want to end her life like that.  I kept reading.  So far I love the book and how he has developed his characters and the setting.  It is not hard with this book to visualize what is happening.

 

I do believe in immediate true love like this one.  These characters are not kids.  They are mature adults although they do feel the thrill of falling in love just like a teenager.  But, that eventually ends and then you deal with real life.  I think that happens rather quickly for Mary and Cobb.  They respect each other as do mature adults.  Therefore she respects his relationship with Thoreau and he respects her wishes to not know her test results.

 

I think Mary knows in her heart what the test results are and that is why she gets teary eyed at the wedding. She knows that it may be the only wedding that she will have.  The girls themselves took the wedding very seriously.  They all know that they have health problems and might not make it very long. They along with Mary learn to live life to the fullest everyday.

 

I have to give credit to Cobb for making the decision to stay with her.  It would be hard to be with someone and know that the time was limited.  I married my husband late in life and we may not have too many years to be with each other as he is 62 and I am 55 but, we don't have that diagnosis.  They do and I don't know how I would be able to go from day to day and keep a smile on my face.  When you have the kind of love that they do, everything is worth it.

 

I can't wait to finish the book.  I am loving being a part of this and I truly thank the author for sharing this with us.  

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Crazy-for-Books
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I just recently received the book, so I've only read the beginning as well.  Starting out with Mary's death makes for a compelling introduction, but it also makes me sad, because I know this won't be a happy ending.  I'm anxious to read more and see the relationship develop, though.

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Peppermill
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

[ Edited ]

 


Sunltcloud wrote:

 

I learned about two events in this post that I really didn't want to know about yet. Please, when replying within the chapter setting, don't reveal more than has been written within the chapters. Or else, type SPOILER into the Subject line and I will refrain from reading the post. Thank you.

vpenning wrote:  ...


 

 

Linda -- I know it doesn't take away the impact, but vpenning has already apologized.

 

I think you know that I am one of those who seldom allows a SPOILER to spoil a story, so I know that I come from a different perspective than many readers.  (Like someone else has already posted, I may read ahead, especially if I know I really must go do other things but I do want to take enough time to savor the writing, not just speed read to resolve the suspense. In fact, my book club teases me about my habits and I have long ago given up on convincing them I don't always do so!) .. 

 

Your reminder to be careful and thoughtful is certainly appropriate.

 

Pepper

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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hookedonbooks09
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I was a bit startled at the beginning of the book, but think it was a real attention grabber.  I immediately wanted to know Mary better, and felt she was going to be someone I would admire.  That, because of her apparent bravery and dedication to her "water" to end her life there.

 

I love the writing style so far.  The banter between these two reminds me a bit of Love Story, without the aloofness!  I also feel like I'm revisiting Golden Pond.  But both of these are old favorites and just sort of add a layer of familiarity to the theme.

 

I disagree with your premise that most love stories begin with complications---those come later!  <grin>  Their meeting and "beginning" took me back to that feeling you have at the start of a relationship that promises to go somewhere.  Comfort, teasing, flirting, attraction, desire and fun!

 

I haven't read to the part about the conditions yet, but had a similar situation where I knew the supposed terminal-ness of my husband's condition, although the doctors didn't want him to know.  Keeping that from him, even though it was supposed to be in his best interest, was the hardest thing.  He was my go-to person for all things difficult.  We always shared, so not telling him made me feel awful.  We have since discussed it, and things turned out the opposite of what the doctors expected, but I just realized I've never asked him how he would have handled it!

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
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momoftwinsMM
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Most love stories begin with complications and reversals, but the love story between Mary and Cobb is absolutely passionate and --relatively--psychologically uncomplicated from the first page. What effect does this have on  you? Do you believe in immediate true love like this one?

 

I am absolutely captivated by Mary & Cobb's relationship. I believe in immediate true love like this, with the caveat that it does not and will not occur for everyone. There are so many factors that have to be at play (as Mary indicated) to ensure that they not only met, but that they met at a certain time in their lives when they were ready to accept this love. Mary's condition also changes the way she reacts to situations. Most girls may not have persued Cobb the way she did because she felt she has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

 

The beauty and lack of complication in this relationship makes me happy. I am sitting back and enjoying the ride of their relationship and wishing that all relationships could be so transparent.

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Peppermill
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Most girls may not have persued Cobb the way she did because she felt she has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

 

Mom -- an interesting comment.  One I hadn't considered, particularly in relation to Mary's need to distance herself from Cobb for awhile.  It seems to me that in love one often cares about the other as much as about oneself -- perhaps almost a definition of love.  Thus, what must it have been like for Mary to come back and go ahead with the relationship with Cobb?  We are only told this story from Cobb's perspective.  Somewhere, her soul must have told her she could still give more or at least as much to the relationship as she would receive -- at least if Cobb could accept the condition of her potential illness.

 

 


momoftwinsMM wrote:

Most love stories begin with complications and reversals, but the love story between Mary and Cobb is absolutely passionate and --relatively--psychologically uncomplicated from the first page. What effect does this have on  you? Do you believe in immediate true love like this one?

 

I am absolutely captivated by Mary & Cobb's relationship. I believe in immediate true love like this, with the caveat that it does not and will not occur for everyone. There are so many factors that have to be at play (as Mary indicated) to ensure that they not only met, but that they met at a certain time in their lives when they were ready to accept this love. Mary's condition also changes the way she reacts to situations. Most girls may not have persued Cobb the way she did because she felt she has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

 

The beauty and lack of complication in this relationship makes me happy. I am sitting back and enjoying the ride of their relationship and wishing that all relationships could be so transparent.


 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Bedelia
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I didn't mind starting with Mary's death at all.  It kind of pulled me in more I think than if just the story started out.  There were immediate questions - what happened to her, what was he part in her death and were they married and fighting ? As the story goes forward, I think Cobb was hooked into finding out more about Mary because of the  fact that the season was basically over and yet here was another (a lone woman yet!) going to the river with a kayak also.  I do believe in instant attraction - not sure about real love at first sight.  So that part did not bother me.  Mary's nightmares or sudden movements were interesting to me, because I suffer from two different similiar problems myself.  I wanted to read on and see what her cause was related to me.  For me the tie in with Thoreau holds no extra interest; nor do I believe Cobb actually really needs that reason for his trip.  I  realize the school may want a reason and that Thoreau is the reason they pay a little on it (if I remember correctly), but couldn't Cobb just want to take off and do this for no other reason than the pleasure of it all.  Maybe not.   All young girls love weddings and romance.  So to get to plan this wedding and carry it out was totally in keeping with the ideals of the camp.  I don't know how seriously they took it and I think it didn't mean as much to them as to Cobb and Mary.  I totally understood Mary's condition for Cobb.  Very real for the very ill and I think only right to Cobb for there to be an out.  Not everyone can deal with illness and death and do it with kindness, gentleness, and love.

 

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NKSTMo
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

When I first started reading the book, I did not think I was going to like it.  Fortunately, the author is a beautiful and descriptive writer, so I was soon pulled in.  For me, the story would have been more mysterious and more of a page turner if I did not immediately know that Mary was going to die.  Not knowing the end of a book, is the exciting part of reading a book.  

 

I enjoyed reading about Mary and Cobb's relationship, but there were never any bumps or conflicts.  The relationship is completely unrealistic.  I believe in love at first sight, but every relationship requires work.  Every relationship has conflict.  This book was too much of a fairy tale with a tragic ending.     

 

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RosesNY
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Knowing the ending at the beginning of a novel is a fairly common device, but in this case it didn't work for me. I thought the prologue was quite well written, but I felt as if I knew everything there was to know just from that, and it turned out to be true. Regarding immediate, passionate love, I'm afraid I'm too old to believe in it. I believe in immediate interest and almost immediate lust, but love is something far too deep to feel within a few hours, days or weeks.

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Sirscha
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Knowing the ending: What effect does it have on your reading to open the novel with Mary's death presented to us first, and Cobb beginning to tell a ranger about her? Did this capture your attention or repel you, or both?

 

My attention was grabbed right from the get-go.  Knowing that Mary is a compelling part of the story - each happening and interaction is leading to the ending.  I love the path.

 

Most love stories begin with complications and reversals, but the love story between Mary and Cobb is absolutely passionate and --relatively--psychologically uncomplicated from the first page. What effect does this have on  you? Do you believe in immediate true love like this one?

 

To me, the passion that Mary and Cobb share from their first meeting is believable.  The romantic in me wants it all to work out, for the passion to stay so unburdened.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?


I think since Mary will not allow herself to think of her disease and her probable future during her waking, her mind needs to deal with it on a subconscious level.  Her nightmares are a manifestation of her worries.

 

What do you make of Cobb's relationship with Henry David Thoreau? Mary respects his reason for being on this trip. Does she seem to embody any of what Cobb admires about Thoreau? Why do you think this writer is so important to Cobb?

 

I do not know much about Thoreau but I believe that Cobb's relationship with the author stems from his overall nature.  Cobb is somewhat of a recluse who likes the simple things.  He also wants to challenge himself, hence his trip to the river.  

 

What do you make of the wedding that the Chungamunga girls arrange for them? How seriously do all of them take it?

 

First of all, I LOVE the whole idea of the Chungamunga girls.  They are so vibrant and jump off the page.  I found myself wishing I could be one - that I could have a similar experience (even though I have no life threatening illness).  The Chungamunga girls know how to take life for everything it offers, to grab on to each experience.  The wedding is no exception.  I think they invest emotional weight to the ceremony.  Mary and Cobb do as well.

 

What do you make of Mary's conditions for Cobb for continuing to be together? Could you know the test results without telling her?

 

You do not chose who you love.  Cobb loves Mary.  He will abide any conditions to stay with her; to be able to love her as long as he can.  I believe I could know the results without telling her.  It is her wish. It would be difficult not to give the results away mistakenly though.  A real challenge.  

 

I am really enjoying this book!  Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts.

Peace-

Sirscha

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BLong
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Knowing the ending: What effect does it have on your reading to open the novel with Mary's death presented to us first, and Cobb beginning to tell a ranger about her? Did this capture your attention or repel you, or both?

 

It drew me in I wanted to know more about these people and what was taking place. I was not repelled by her death being at the beginning of the book it made me wonder. As I read  I feel in love with Mary and Jonathan. I loved there adventures and the places they went. It was a fantastic read and it was enjoyable. I was glad that Jonathan told Mary's story she was full of life and it needed to be told to the reader. We all hope that people will remember us the way Jonathan did. I loved the book and would highly recommend it to others.  It had Love, Loss, Life, and Adventure with all the characters involved.

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Krickett2432
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Knowing the ending: What effect does it have on your reading to open the novel with Mary's death presented to us first, and Cobb beginning to tell a ranger about her? Did this capture your attention or repel you, or both?

 

Knowing that Mary will die adds poignancy to every page.  It is a bittersweet story.  It reminded me of the saying that every love story ends in tragedy - either divorce or death.  It did not repel me to know this fact, but it has colored every page I have read.

 

Most love stories begin with complications and reversals, but the love story between Mary and Cobb is absolutely passionate and --relatively--psychologically uncomplicated from the first page. What effect does this have on  you? Do you believe in immediate true love like this one?

 

I have to say that this part seemed a bit unbelievable.  How can you be that passionate about someone on first meeting, without really knowing them?  Maybe it happens, maybe I'm a very cautious person.  On the other hand, when I read a novel, I try to take it as it comes and not judge unfairly. 

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

 

Mary, of course, is living under a cloud--her health.  So that stress could cause the nightmares.  Also, as it says in the text, she is afraid that her (possible) ill health may be causing the nightmares.

 

 

What do you make of the wedding that the Chungamunga girls arrange for them? How seriously do all of them take it?

 

I think everyone takes it seriously.  They are in an environment that is set apart from the day-to-day drudge of reality, so all of their senses are heightened and all possibilities expanded.

 

What do you make of Mary's conditions for Cobb for continuing to be together? Could you know the test results without telling her?

 

I understand her conditions, and would find it easy to keep the secret if the results were bad.  But if the results were positive, then I think I would be unable to keep the secret - although she does give a good explanation of why she doesn't want to know even positive results - so perhaps that's a good enough reason to keep the secret.

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ambika22
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

To answer Peppermill and GreenFairy's questions about Huntingtons disease, if only one of her parents had the disease Mary would have a chance of 50% to inherit it.

I suppose that if she didnt have it in her chromosomes, she wouldnt be able to pass it, since it seems to be a dominant gene, so if she carries the disease she should develop it, but if she doesnt, she couldnt pass it to her children.

Thats what i learned some time ago when i first heard about this disease, so i hope i remembered it correctly ^^

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jbg78
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I would say that knowing what was going to happen to Mary intrigued me and kept me reading. I thought it was a rather clever device to employ.

 

I think it was a wonderful relationship. I think that anything is possible.

 

I thought she was having an epileptic seizure.

 

Mary likes things simple and uncomplicated.  Why Cobb chooses Thoreau..who knows. Why does anyone choose to research any one topic? What leads Mary study crows?

 

The wedding was cute.  I could see a bunch of girls planning the whole thing.  Can't you just hear the giggles and arguing!

 

I think that it was Mary's way of being in control of the situation.  I think that Mary already knew the answer from the testing, but chose not to recognize it.

 

 

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb~
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ssizemore
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

What an amazing beginning to a truly interesting book!  I was hooked from page one and had to stop myself at the assignment point for fear of giving things away.

The setting of the book is spectacular and the descriptions echo so well the characters as they are revealed.  I think the exploration of the Allagash River mirrors the exploration each character is doing or has done in his or her life.  Thoreau set out to explore the wilderness and on a quest to search himself and his philosophies.  Cobb wants to connect with that search and finds himself exploring love in a deep way that he never imagined.  Mary has faced death and takes to the river again to continue to explore life.  The Chunamunga girls are on the river to feel the freedom from fear and illness that marks their lives.  I think the idea of journeying and searching is a major theme in the novel.

I must confess that I was somewhat perplexed by the manner in which both Cobb and Mary fell instantly in love.  Mary is very impetuous and perhaps that is the reason so becomes so easily involved.  Cobb is more reluctant, but possibly cannot believe his luck in finding Mary on the trip.  He is also somewhat fearful of his abilities on the river and Mary is a note of total confidence for him.  As the chapters continued, however, I found the love to be believable as they both had so much in common and were searching together.  The connection they found proved to be amazing and I have an idea that the special wedding ceremony provided by the Chunamunga girls will be the only ceremony.  Not only was it special because the girls devised it, it so commemorated the understanding between Cobb and Mary. 

I can hardly wait to start the next section!

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MtnMommaJF
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I totally agree with Retromom. The description of the camping experience was told in a straight forward no nonsense manner . It described exactly the feeling of camping. You could also feel the calming effect floating on the water in a kayak has on a soul. Mtnmomma.
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nochip
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I immediately became interested in the story Cobb would tell about Mary and how they met.  Knowing the ending not only did not deter me, or repel me.  Quite the opposite it made me want to know more. I surmised it was suicide and I wanted to know why this man loved this woman so much, that he allowed her to do this on her own. 

 

I found their instant mutual love very refreshing, without all the drama,  The conflict will come with other things.  For me it emphasized that we only have today, time is so precious, when you know, you know.  I have had this instant true love, it is real, it does happen.

 

Monninger created a need to find out more about these characters because they are so interesting within themselves, so intelligent, but at the same time easy to spend time with.  I am also getting an eduation about their tasks and their interests, which Monninger also makes interesting and fun.  Who ever thought i would want to read about crows, and yet I find myself thinking about Mary's crow stories. I find the banter between them real and funny. I am in chapter 5, and I am very anxious to continue. 

 

I must say that Monninger's description of the wide oxblood red steaming soup bowls painted the most vivid and beautiful picture.  I am so impressed with the descriptive and NOT overdone writing. 

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debbaker
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Knowing the ending: What effect does it have on your reading to open the novel with Mary's death presented to us first, and Cobb beginning to tell a ranger about her? Did this capture your attention or repel you, or both?

 

A frame story is not that uncommon. I believe that it was done not only to capture our attention but also to help us in reading the characters and their motives. I am not bothered by the ending at this point, I am prepared for the sadness that will come at the end.

 

Most love stories begin with complications and reversals, but the love story between Mary and Cobb is absolutely passionate and --relatively--psychologically uncomplicated from the first page. What effect does this have on  you? Do you believe in immediate true love like this one?

 

I believe in love that happens quickly but usually you take your time to develop it. Love is a process of time. Obviously it follows an immediate attraction and a genuine liking of someone.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

 

I am not sure just yet. I think that perhaps they are a foreshadowing of the disease.

 

What do you make of Cobb's relationship with Henry David Thoreau? Mary respects his reason for being on this trip. Does she seem to embody any of what Cobb admires about Thoreau? Why do you think this writer is so important to Cobb?

 

Thoreau represents a simpler life and contentment in the simplicity. I think that we are all drawn to the simple life--free of complications. Mary appears to embody that life but in realiy she is much more complicated. Cobb has empathy with Thoreau's views.

 

What do you make of the wedding that the Chungamunga girls arrange for them? How seriously do all of them take it?

 

 I think it probably has more significance since it represents their passion for nature and simplicity-beauty in life. It was special. I think everyone takes it seriously since it is more a declaration of the soul.

 

What do you make of Mary's conditions for Cobb for continuing to be together? Could you know the test results without telling her?

 

I don't really know if I could do that. Her attitude about life is very much dictated by her response to the possibility of the disease.

Deb
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simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought
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BDonnelly
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I read to the end since when I looked for a schedule I only found general discussion.  So, I read through the whole book for today.  When I got to the end and starts speaking to the park ranger again, I had to say, wait a minute who is that?  I was so absorbed in Mary and Cobb's story that I completely forgot about the park ranger in the beginning.  I thought it was a lovely way to start the book.  It really sets the stage for the story.  You know Mary will die but you don't know how she will live.  And that is what the whole book is about.  I loved this book.

 

I do believe in true love at first sight.  I think their relationship may have been relatively uncomplicated because it got stripped of so many things that are unimportant.  When you know that you have a limited time to love someone maybe you can really forget about the petty stuff and concentrate on the good, loving part.  A lesson for us all.  I loved this book.

 

I didn't really know what to think of the nightmares.  Is it somehow related?

 

I think Thoreau is so important to Cobb because he also lived a stripped down life.  Really concentrating on what matters in life is what was important to Cobb, Mary and Thoreau.  Mary's illness gives Cobb the push to let go of the rest of the stuff.

 

The Chungamunga wedding was beautiful.  Really all they needed.

 

I've thought for a few days about whether i Would want to know when or how I was going to die.  I've decided I don't want to know either.  I admire Mary for her choice.  She really chooses to not make room for the Huntington's.  But I don't think I could have been in Cobb's position.  It would be too hard.  I think I would have chosen to be ignorant as well and to be thankful for each day.