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EiLvReedn
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎05-25-2007

Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

First of all - Thanks for the Wonderful book! I was skeptical at first but this book drew me in and I literally am having a hard time putting it down.

The beginning:

 knowing Mary was going to die was something that kept me reading because it's one of those things that grabs you and says OK you've got to hear what really happened kind of stories. Then after you do get into the parts of Cobb and Mary meeting and being so perfect for each other it's like I can't stand it! Why or why does she have to die?!

Cobb & Mary's agreement:

 I read further and I can understand more now of how hard their decisions are to make and I'm not sure I could make the same decision or agreement that Cobb and Mary make. Given her experience with the condition makes perfect sense for her but still would be extremely hard to live with.  I really really want them to be together because they are so perfect together and I love their banter and even the stupid knock knock jokes. They are fun and giving and you can see why the Chungaunga girls and the people at the fish camp love them.

Thoreau:

I think Cobb may have been sort of obsessed w/ Thoreau until he met Mary. Thoreau was a "rebel" in his time, a trend setter, Cobb may have wanted to follow in his foot steps to see what "drove" him and if he could feel the same experiences. Cobb was definitely looking for something in his life thus the sabbatical and I don't think what he found in Mary can even compare to what he thought of Thoreau.

The Wedding:

The Chungamunga girls are also amazing, that they could come up with such a special ceremony and write the chant for these two, wow! I really felt as if it was "real" that they were bound and it wasn't just some silly little camp skit which is what I had expected the wedding to be.

I'm nearly finished w/ this book so I am going to end now before I give out a spoiler!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

OOPS - Sorry about the big gap in the reply.

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


GreenFairyLV wrote:

I'm a little lost on the Huntington's disease.

 

Mary already took care of things to insure she won't have kids.  Her father had Huntington's but she doesn't know if she has it.  This is where I get confused.  If Mary didn't have Huntington's would she still be able to pass the disease on to her kids through DNA?  Is this a trait Mary carries in her DNA because her father had it?


 Huntingtons Disease is a debilitating inherited disease that causes certain nerve cells in the brain to waste away,  You are born with the disease and it generally manifests itself during adulthood.  It is caused by a dominant mutation in a gene which means that if you have the gene you are going to get the disease. If your parent has the gene, there is a 50-50 chance that you will get it too.   There has been a genetic test available since the 1980's.  The story about Nancy Wexler and her research is all true.

 

If I had a family history of Huntingtons and was not planning on having children, I am not sure if I would want to find out if I were afflicted. However, if I were planning on children, I would definitely want to know because I would not want to bring a child into this world who was destined to suffer like that.

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

I'm so happy to read that someone else had the same thougth about the "wedding"... once they started talking about the girls wanted Mary and Cobb to get married, I had the same thought...Like you I can't wait to see how this story continues....


biljounc63 wrote:

I like the fact the the story starts with the death of Mary. I did not expect it and I was hooked from the first words. With Mary's death chapter one began with the actual telling of a story...the story on the perspective of Cobb. The words used I really feel that I can see the river. I am from New England so I can easily relate to the scenery.

 

I can't help but wonder if they ever got 'married' or if they took the wedding performed by the Chungamunga girls as the real thing. I for one am thinking that is the case but we will have to wait and see. 

 

We know how the story ends (Mary dies) but we don't how how the story ends. I have my theory on Mary's death but I will have to wait and see if I am right or not.


 

 

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away" - unknown
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Leeza14
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎12-01-2009

Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I've decided to write my answers before I read everyone else's because I want to explore my own thinking first before I read other's thoughts.  I can't wait to read the rest of the thread!

 

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 just finished reading Mercy by Jody Picoult, and it started with a death of a beloved wife, so I was almost "used" to it.  Isn't it odd how whatever else we've read can play into the thoughts we have as we read a new book?  I was captured by the beginning and wanted to know what had led up to her death and why Cobb could be relatively calm about it.

 

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 certainly believe in immediate attraction like Cobb and Mary have.  The have a connection which almost mirrors the Chungamunga connection in some ways.  Mary has a strong and everlasting connection to the girls' group which took a relatively short time to develop; the same can be said of Cobb.  I think Cobb is "saving" Mary in much the same way the Chungamunga Girls did many years ago -- he is certainly having a profound effect on her life as did her experience as a CG.

 

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?

Yes, I think Mary embodies Thoreau's ideals.  She lives a simple life, as free of encumberments as possible.  She appreciates nature, hard work, and self-reliance (a little Emerson in there, too, I guess).  She is really in tune with nature, animals, and birds.   She weeds out the extraneous items and issues from the world and lives her life trying to make the world a better place.

 

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

The girls take it completely seriously.  Mary and Cobb go along with the whole thing, and it seems very sacred to them as well.  I wonder if that will serve as their "marriage" or if they will legally tie the knot later in the book.

 

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

This is a tough one!  I don't know if I could keep it a secret if she DIDN'T have it -- I would want to share the good news!  But I also think she would see it in my face if she did have it.  I think that would be one tough promise to make.

 

** I LOVE THIS BOOK!

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PB684
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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?

Well, I think we knew what Mary's fate would be by reading the plot description therefore it didn't bother me to read this in the beginning. It made me want to read more to find out why she died and what her and Cobb's relationship was.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

I think they are her subconcious worrying about the disease she may or may not develop.

 

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

I think that scene was beautiful and poetic...it made me cry...and I think they all take it very seriously. I'm not sure if Mary and Cobb will actually get legally married in the future but I feel that they are truly married at this point.

 

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 think it's a little unfair of Mary to expect Cobb to keep the information to himself but I have a feeling that he will do his best to follow her wishes because he loves her so much. I think it will be very difficult for him though.

Paula

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

This book really took me by surprise. I'm not much of an outdoorsy girl. My idea of camping is sleeping on the floor of my living room! I wasn't sure I'd be able able to relate to this book, but boy was I wrong! After reading this first section (in fact after reading only the first chapter), I have fallen in love with Eternal on the Water and all its' characters! I've even had the urge to go camping!

 

I loved the way this book started, with the reader being able to know the ending. I found myself wondering : Did Mary really kill herself? And if so, why would she do that? While reading the first section, I found myself multiple times so caught up in Mary and Cobb's story, that I forgot what the outcome would be. When I remembered this story wouldn't end happily, a wave of sadness would wash over me, since it meant Mary and Cobb wouldn't get the happy ending they both deserved.

 

I definitely believe in love at first sight. It happened to me. It doesn't happen very often but when it does, it's one of the amazing and thrilling feelings. I think Monninger captured the feeling of love at first sight between Mary and Cobb perfectly. To me, it's like being so caught up in the moment that you forget everything else, even logic.

 

I understand why Mary would not want to know her test results. If the news was bad, it would be like getting a death sentence. From that moment forward, she would feel like she had an expiration date. I'm not sure I would want to know the results if I were Cobb either. It would be too big of a secret to keep from someone and no matter the results, you would start treating that person differently.

April
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wjbauer
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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 repelled my attention. Once I started the main story I forgot about the beginning as the story was very wonderful and engaging. But then after reading chapter 8 I went back to review and got very sad when reading about Mary's death. So I would rather not know the ending.

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Michele012502
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Oh man...talk about suspense!!!! I read the first section about Mary's death and OMG!!! I can't put the book down to find out how it all happend. It is such a great read so far and I can't wait to finish and discuss.

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Sadie1
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Knowing the ending:  This did reel me in.  I wanted to know more, who, what where, when and why.

 

Immediate true love:  I do believe...happened to my husband and me.

 

Mary's nightmares:  I think they are reflections of her inner fears.  We often dream about what worries us during the day.

 

What do you make of Cobb's relationship with Henry David Thoreau?  I don't know what to make about this relationship other than Cobb is a College Professor and he has a paper to write.  He doesn't seem to care much about experiencing what Thoreau did once he meets Mary.  Just a paper to write.

 

The Wedding performed by the girls:  This was a bit farfetched for me.  Even for little girls with all their dreams of picket fences and such.

 

What do you make of Mary's conditions for Cobb for continuing to be together? Could you know the test results without telling her?  No, she would see the results in my face.  She already knows the results anyway from being a child of a parent with Huntington's Disease.  That's why she took care of not being able to have children.  Family members of family members with the disease know that the whole family lives with the disease.

 

I had two friends with the disease.  It was a very big case in the Atlanta area.  It was tough watching what that family was and is going through.  Joseph Monninger has opened my eyes with the story of Mary a little about what my friends and their families were going through.  I see some similarities.  I needed to read this book.

 

Lisa in Georgia

 

 

 

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JillinOH
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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?  Beginning with her death did capture my attention but it was disturbing to me that Mary was strapped to the picnic table like a "rib roast". I just kept picturing her bloated body on the picnic table and it didn't seem believeable to me that Cobb would be able to sit there so calmly. Once I started reading the book I found myself forgetting about the death part because the characters and the setting were so real.

 

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?

When Mary asked Cobb when they were going to kiss so quickly after meeting, it made the story unbelievable to me. She might be thinking that but since I didn't know her character well enough yet, it didn't appeal to me that she was so frank and quick to fall for him. The fact that they both fell for eachother so quickly on that first meeting and acted upon it, gave me the impression that this would be some stereotypical romance novel that I wouldn't like. I guess I just don't believe in that immediate true love. The fact that their love is uncomplicated compliments the setting of living simply in nature.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares? The fact that Mary was so upset about Cobb having witnessed her nightmares intrigued me. It didn't seem like the true explanation that she was worried about walking in her sleep.

 

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 think Thoreau is important to Cobb because he wants to connect to him and that sense of living simply. I think Cobb is passionate about gaining his own experiences from the trip but I don't think he feels that his paper will have any impact. He seems to be there for what he can gain personally and bring back to his students on a personal level. He seems to need the trip as a personal renewal that will enrich his own life and renew his connection to his career.

 

What do you make of the wedding that the Chungamunga girls arrange for them? How seriously do all of them take it?  I loved this part. The wedding is so special to the girls because they have been entrusted with the responsibility of making it happen and making it magical. It is a typical fantasy activity a lot of girls would like to play out but often don't because they feel pressured to be grown up so fast. I love that Mary and Cobb played along so well. For Mary it was easy to take it seriously because she was a Chungamunga girl herself and already so connected to nature but for Cobb it would be harder. The fact that the wedding took place the morning after Mary told Cobb he could find out the results of her test and make his decision to stay or leave made the fantasy wedding more significant. The chant was a great touch.

 

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 admire Mary in a sense for wanting Cobb to make his decision only after knowing exactly what his is getting into however, I can't imagine he could keep that secret inside without giving away some clues. I would never be able to hide my knowledge of her future. I think I would prefer to either both find out or both not.

 

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

Knowing the ending only really had me questioning Cobb's character.  Not sure whether I wanted to like him or not yet.  Also knowing the ending almost makes you feel that the blow of the details will be more subtle and/or not so hard on your emotions but I found that even knowing that it was still hard on my emotions (wow - that sounds so girlie - lol).

 

Definitely a True Love believer - it was cool to see how their lives took on a totally new shape now that they had each other.

 

Still not really sure about Mary's nightmares...

 

I think Cobb just admires Thoreau and he is in a situation being a teacher and all that he can take time to go down a path less traveled and try to be in Thoreau's shoes.  If we could all take time to do that with someone we admire and/or look to that would be rather nice. 

 

Love the Chungamunga wedding!  Definitely feel that it was a very serious thing along with all the prep leading to it.  I believe it probably signified several different things for different girls that were there.

 

The conditions were hard but honestly he knew who Mary was from the moment he met her.  She choose to live her life a certain way and becoming a part of that life meant you followed that specific path when it came to her situation.  They were both old souls and it is normally hard to change an old soul.  I'm not sure I could know the test results without telling her - probably only until she either did or didn't do something because of the condition.  At that point I would end up probably screaming it out :smileyhappy: 

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judycarr
Posts: 31
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I liked knowing the ending of the book alot!  To me the book was not about how Mary died but about how she lived.  Yes, the fact that we knew she was dead added a sense of mystery but it was definatly an addition.

 

I did not feel the nightmares played a key role....again it was more about how she embraced life then about how she was disabled by it.  I loved her character.

 

One thing that I was grateful for was the integrity of the physical relationship between Mary and Cobb.  I like sex in a book as much as the next person but right from the beginning it is obvious this is love.  I am so glad that there wasn't graphic sex. Anyone can do that; in these scenes where John talked about the physical relationship it was clearly love and a beautiful expression of it.  Kudos for not going the sensational route!

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

 


ilenekm wrote:

GreenFairyLV wrote:

I'm a little lost on the Huntington's disease.

 

Mary already took care of things to insure she won't have kids.  Her father had Huntington's but she doesn't know if she has it.  This is where I get confused.  If Mary didn't have Huntington's would she still be able to pass the disease on to her kids through DNA?  Is this a trait Mary carries in her DNA because her father had it?


 Huntingtons Disease is a debilitating inherited disease that causes certain nerve cells in the brain to waste away,  You are born with the disease and it generally manifests itself during adulthood.  It is caused by a dominant mutation in a gene which means that if you have the gene you are going to get the disease. If your parent has the gene, there is a 50-50 chance that you will get it too.   There has been a genetic test available since the 1980's.  The story about Nancy Wexler and her research is all true.

 

If I had a family history of Huntingtons and was not planning on having children, I am not sure if I would want to find out if I were afflicted. However, if I were planning on children, I would definitely want to know because I would not want to bring a child into this world who was destined to suffer like that.


 

Is it correct to presume Huntington's could be detected in a fetus by amniocentesis?  Could there be particular danger to a woman (mother) of the disease manifesting during pregnancy, a period of significant bodily changes?

 

"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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nymazz
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I have to admit that at first glance I wasn't sure this would be a story that would appeal to me, but from the first sentence I was interested.  I really like the idea that we already know Mary has died, and we were hearing Cobbs story about how they met and what journey they took together. Knowing that she had already died made it more heart warming for me to hear Cobb tell Sarah his and Mary's history.

 

I think Cobb needed to tell the story.

 

 

I would like to believe that it is possible for two people to meet and have an instant connection, compatibility.  Not all relationships have to be complicated.

 

As far as Cobbs interest in Thoreau maybe Cobb was having doubts about where his life was

going or with his teaching at St. Pauls. Maybe he took the sabbatical because he was burning out and

need to remove himself from his day to day life and re-energize. 

 

I am enjoying Mr.. Monninger's writing style, it flows easily.

Mazz

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. -Mason Cooley-
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lisabalf
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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 at first made me wonder where it could go from here but once he began to tell the ranger their story I began to enjoy the story.   So I guess I'd say both.  

 

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?

 

This is exactly the kind of story that makes me belive in true love like this.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

 

I felt the nightmares was part of her subconscious knowledge of having the disease.
 

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

 

It was as if everyone knew of Mary and Cobb's connection and wanted to do this for them so they could have a chance at a wedding. 

 

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 think on some level he knew as did she that it was inevitable. The love they felt for eachother was enough to live by the conditions. 

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

I really love this book.  The way this is written, I almost feel like I'm there in their story.  I live on the west coast, and want to take a look at some maps to see the areas where this takes place.  I wondered what the title meant, and think the water becomes something sacred to them both - Mary as a Chungamunga girl, their 'wedding' - both of their lives change forever on the Allagash River. 

 

Knowing the ending:  It pulled me in immediately, not necessarily because it began that way, but because the author has a way of pulling you in to the story.  I really love the way the introduction ended, with Cobb telling his and Mary's story to the officer by a campfire.  You begin to get a glimpse into their relationship, and Mary's quirkiness before the first chapter starts.  I believe Cobb begins the long process of grieving with this first telling of his journey with Mary. 

 

Most love stories begin with complications and reversals, etc.:  I do believe in immediate true love like this one.  I've never experienced it, as my husband and I were friends first, and love grew over time.  When  you think of all the things that have to happen just right. . .in the universe, on the continent, it really does seem like a miracle, but yes. . .I do believe in miracles too.  I would have to add just one more to this list of impossibilities. . you have to both be in the same place mentally and ready for a love like this.  I can't believe 'yeti' love would blossom if either one had major baggage.    

 

Henry David Thoreau:  I'm not sure yet why this writer is so important to Cobb.  So far, I feel like I'm learning so much about Mary, and maybe not so much about Cobb.  May have to go back and reread a few parts to get a better grasp of this.  Now Mary does seem to live a fairly simple life. . .she's so in the moment and so in tune with nature - is that part of the magnetic attraction he feels for her?   I think so.

 

What do you make of the wedding that the Chungamunga girls arrange for them?  How seriously do all of them take it?  Well, to me it was just magical - it was eternal on the water for them, and it drew me in completely and absolutely.  I think the girls took it very seriously, and Mary and Cobb did too (have I mentioned I took it very seriously too?  :smileyhappy:).  It might be the only wedding they have, but we'll have to see what happens there. 

 

What do you make of Mary's conditions for Cobb for continuing to be together?  Gosh, I don't know if I could know the results and not have it show one way or the other.  But, I think for this kind of love, I would be willing to risk it.

 

I don't think I'll ever hear 'Some Enchanted Evening' the same. . . I'm sure the words 'Sam and Janet evening' are the words I'll be singing from now on, and with a smile. 

 

 

Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.
~ Henry Ward Beecher ~
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spaz_k7
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Knowing the ending at the beginning did not work for me. In most books I usually guess the ending anyway but read through it hoping that I am wrong and that it’s all just a trick to make me even more intrigued. (I always hope for a happier ending :smileyhappy:) So I am upset that I know what will mostly happen and probably would enjoy the book more if I was left wondering if she would ever develop symptoms, etc. But I am still very excited to get to the end and find out how they got to that place. Thankfully, that’s the only thing I don’t like so far!

 

I do like the style and flow of writing. I could easily read this book in one sitting but am forcing myself to stay on schedule instead.

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carol_fa
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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?

Mary's death at the beginning captured my attention immediately and made me want to read more to find out what happened. The ranger seemed to be the only person who really cared, the officers were very intimidating to Cobb...I felt the ranger was a welcome relief in a terrible situation.

 

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?

Being a romantic at heart, I am enjoying Mary and Cobb's relationship, their passion and trust in one another is the way a relationship (in my eyes) should be between a man and a woman. I don't know that I believe in immediate love, however, I believe in true love. Cobb and Mary just connected quicker than most.

Maybe because it was in the wilderness, maybe because of other issues...  I am a strong believer that every thing happens for a reason.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

I am not sure of what to think of her nightmares. The lady in purple is intriguing, can't wait to find out what that is all about.

 

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 think Thoreau is simply someone who Cobb would like to fashion his life after. Living simply and through nature. Cobb sees that in Mary.

 

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

I love the wedding - so very romantic. The girls are very serious about it, the poem is so beautiful and has so much meaning.

 

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

If I was Cobb, I could not keep that a secret, especially if she did not test positive. I think Mary is being somewhat selfish in her conditions, but I do understand. That is a lot to deal with.

 

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Leah-L
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I am on chapter 4 and am already in love with this book. Mary is so strong and independent, but also has a side that is in need of someone to be with and share life with. I like that she is both, and feel that you have written her balance so well. I look forward to finishing the book and seeing how well she and Cobb complement each other. A true soul mate encounter. Thank You.    Leah