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

At first I was quite disappointed to open up and read, finding out that she died. Death is one of those hard subjects that a lot of people try not to think about especially when it comes to a love story. However, After reading it the words just smoothly transitioned into this beautiful piece.  Finding out about how the met and through the years to get to this point is definitely quite interesting to me. I love to read stories like this.. Both surreal and real things going on in life and learning to work on things together, its the beauty of Love.

 

I am amazed at this book thus far. To answer one of the questions that Rachel K has put up. I find the fact of knowing the test results and not telling her, somewhat hard to believe, but if you truly love someone that trust and protectiveness should fall in place, Not to many couples have that kind of bond anymore, So it is nice to read about.

 

 

ReaganStar

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

Mary's death was a real attention grabber for me. I wanted to know what exactly had driven her to that point and what impact it really had on Cobb. Yes, we knew the ending, but at the same time, we really didn't.

 

Their fast connection was a little strange, but sometimes we really do meet another that we connect with. I thought that in the beginning the situation wouldn't move so fast, and because it did, it would fade away with the end of the trip. True love, though, is more about committment than those "love feelings".

 

The wedding was amazing. Wish those girls were around when I was planning mine! I think the girls really thought it was real.

 

Mary's condition was logical. I think I'd want the same thing in her place. The not knowing and knowing - ohhhh... that would be difficult.

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chris227
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Norma,

 

  I am so sorry that you are going through this tough time.  My thoughts and prayers are with you. 

 

Christina

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Benz1966
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

[ Edited ]

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 think it distracts from the story.  Having read the "ending" at the beginning it made me feel as if I shouldn't even bother to read the book.  I wasn't emotionally invested at that point and it didn't do much for me.

 

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 instant attraction, but I think a rich and full love is something that is built over time, and not just a kiss or falling into bed right off the bat.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?  I didn't give them much thought.

 

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'm not sure why the writer is so important to Cobb, but it seems like Cobb is more interested in Mary then he is with Thoreau.  I would have enjoyed learning more of Thoreau then is given us.

 

What do you make of the wedding that the Chungamunga girls arrange for them? How seriously do all of them take it? I think they probably take it very seriously, knowing the health problems they all have - but I think it was a bit cheesy and I don't know of any guy who would actually go through with something like that.. or gal for that reason.

 

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 know. I'm a bit torn on this one.  If I had a terminal illness I don't think I'd want my partner to know.  If he knew, fully informed, that I might have the disease and still wanted to be with me I'd want him to be as fully accepting of the fact that I may or may not have it as I am.

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chris227
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I think that the Chungamunga girls love Mary so much and know her feelings for Cobb and they want to be able to celebrate their love, especially because they may never experience this kind of love themselves.  They hold the "wedding" to show Mary how they feel about her and Cobb.  And as many have said before this may be the only wedding any of them will participate in.  Personally I think that it was beautiful and though I hope that another wedding follows I think that the ceremony was a perfect fit to Mary and Cobb and their relationship.

 

 


krb2g wrote:

I found the Chungamunga girls' wedding for Mary and Cobb a little bit creepy; obviously the possibility that Mary has Huntington's Disease means that she and Cobb want to enjoy every moment to its fullest, but the wedding just came off as weird to me. 

 

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tdunham220
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

At first I didn't know if I would like this book. I thought maybe it was just going to be another "sappy" love story. I was wrong! It was very good and thought provoking. I'm not sure how I feel about knowing the ending right at the start of the book. How do you feel?

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

 


Luvstoread wrote:

Hi Everyone:

I'm hoping to catch up with everyone for this discussion.  I've been having a rough couple of months.  I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, had a bunch of tests done, had a mastectomy and am starting chemo next week.  I'm hoping that all of this will let me still participate.  So far I am really enjoying this book.  Thank you B&N for the opportunity to participate.

 

Norma


 

 

Norma, you will be in my prayers. I hope reading will comfort you.

 

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

I liked the way the story started. We know this is going to be a tragic love affair. It makes the experience of the next chapters more poignant. I particularly liked the way the author gradually revealed Mary's secret. Knowing the ending would be tragic made me want to figure out why.

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

I was hooked on page one. Knowing Mary was dead did not detract from the story for me. It just makes me want to know more about her. And I'm enjoying the writer's style.:smileyhappy:

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

Mary's nightmare that one night concerned Cobb. But when he told her that she had a nightmare, he wasn't going to make a big deal out of it. Mary is the one who pushed on it and when she heard, she made mention of the disease.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Vermontcozy
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I certainly did not expect the opening,so I started crying,a few tears.I was not repelled,I was taken.Then as I read on at first with sadness,then just savioring every every word,and wondering where will this book will take me.I am glad that some background of Cobb brought me into focus,that was important to me as a reader. I was totally immersed,and the sparks that brought them together,I believe in that.Kayacking,same truck,but the physical attraction was there.Thats all they knew,except that they were both going to the same area..When I think of all the comments that were made about Mary,being special.by Ranger Joan,I knew at that point ,the book focus had changed Now I was the only one who knew,besides Mary at that junction in the book,about her dying.                                                                                       I took   "The Wedding" as just a ritual,for the girls..Also that could be the only wedding the girls would be able to attend when./if Mary and Cobb do Marry.  Love has conditions,and if that is what she wanted,then he should respect them,have not gone on past the middle of chapter9..All could change for me,concerning the "conditions"Cobb agreed to .                                          They are both drawn to each other intellectually,as well so  Cobbs love and seeking out what made Thoreau tick,so to speak, only made their relationship stronger,as it should have.. That is all I want to post at this point..Later on,we will all have so much more to say,Thank you Rachel for such probing questions,,Vtc,,,,,                                                                                                                                      

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

 

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

 

 

I thought the wedding was beautiful and magical.  I think all of them were both taking it seriously and not seriously at the same time.  The girls wanted the chance to have a ceremony and I think with all the ritual they put into it they felt it to be a real thing, right there on the river.  I don't feel anyone thought that their wedding was a true official wedding in the real world sense, but there in that space, on the river, it was real to them and would remain real on the river. 

 

Mary and Cobb make reference to it as "maybe we are married, maybe not", so I think they felt the ceremony was important in terms of their love and commitment to each other.  I think they went into it as a light-hearted thing to make the girls happy, but also secretly they each felt the magic of it, though probably did not want to admit to each other at the time that it was anything more than a simple act to please the girls.

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T-Mo
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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?

 

I think beginning the novel with Mary’s death is, in a way, captivating. While we know she died, and that she evidently brought death to herself, we don’t know what prompted her to come to that end. That alone compels the reader to continue further into the story.

 

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?

 

Initially I thought the love story between Mary and Cobb was extremely unrealistic. However, the further I get into the story, I forgot the fact that they just met. Without the constant reminders, it seemed as if they had been together for a while. In fact, at the beginning, prior to their meeting, I thought by Cobb’s descriptions of noticing Mary, that they had already met. I do think that her straightforward approach to kissing him for the first time is a little far-fetched, but that’s just my personal opinion. I’m not sure if I believe in this type of immediate true love, but I do believe true love happens unexpectedly and isn’t necessarily influenced by time or the lack thereof. 

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

Overall, I am loving this book.  At first I wasn't phased by the fact that we know she dies at the beginning, but the more I read I am starting to not enjoy that fact. It kind of makes it obvious that she will have the disease because we know she chooses to die right from the beginning. But in a way it makes it better because I won't be shocked to find it may not end happily.  I don't feel that I could keep a secret in the way Cobb promised to about the test results. I feel my actions would give it away. What if he found out that she has the disease and just never talks to her again. Not that he would do that with the love they seem to have between them, but if someone else were to do such a thing wouldn't that be a giveaway to her? I'm getting at that her choice she gives him could easily betray her wish to not know somehow. 

I enjoy the stories Mary tells, and it made me think of crows in a different way, and I really love stories of different mythologies.

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

I loved reading  chapters 6 & 7 especially  Mary telling Cobb how you become a Chungamunga girl. the history behind some of the ceremonies, the secrets she wouldn't reveal.  I think Monninger did a great job.

 

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. -Mason Cooley-
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Coffeenut
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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?

 

I have to say that this bothered me. I hate finding out what happens ahead of time, and that's a biggie!

Oh well, I'll still enjoy it.

Me :smileyhappy:
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mv5ocean
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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 definitely captured my attention and changes things in that it appears she chose to take her own life rather than allow the disease to determine her end. That compels me to continue reading to understand how she came to that decision.

 

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 true love without a doubt. I have been fortunate enough to meet my soulmate and can't explain the different feeling it is compared to previous relationships. I am loving every minute of it and completely understand not to EVER take anything for granted and appreciate each and every second.

 

  

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

It is more serious it seems that a "real traditional" wedding and one that is binding by paper. This is a ritual for the girls that they have taken part in and realize they might never experience. They sense the connection between these two and are in tune with this occasion at first even more than Mary was, until she was drawn to tears........

 

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'm sure I could make the agreement at first, but then it would be a double edged sword. I think if I were Mary I would be thinking...........okay he didn't tell me so it must be bad. Even though I asked him not to if it was good news he would have told me..............

 

 


 

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

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 assume that Cobb's relationship with Thoreau is important because it is important to the author. He is putting much emphasis on it at the beginning of the novel. But as we go along, the name Thoreau becomes less important and nature itself becomes one of the main characters. The journey we begin isn't always the one that is bestowed upon us. And, I find that, what we most cherish about any author is often clearer when we sit at home at a desk, than when we are exposed to his/her surroundings; unless, of course, we find a Mary, who embodies the kind of journey we had expected to "research." Thus, Mary becomes Cobb's Thoreau, on a deeper level than he himself had expected to find.

 

A couple of years ago I flew to Guernsey after I had read "The Guernsey Literature and Potato Peel Pie Society." I wanted to "feel" the content of the novel. Instead I encountered a character named Ebenezer Le Page, from another novel (maybe a literary equivalent of Mary for me, though Ebenezer was only a fictional man) and suddenly I saw him wherever I turned, on the steep staircases that lead to the center of town, on Lihou Island where he had gotten stranded, in the cemetery where I was told that I am not the only one looking for him. The point is that I had intended to follow in the footsteps of one author but ended up learning much more about Guernsey through somebody who had been "bestowed upon me" by chance.

 

I also think that Thoreau is more of an anchor to Cobb than a companion. If he hadn't found Mary the Allagash River would have been his closest companion. A river is a funny thing; it points you in a certain direction, but it leaves as much to your imagination as it leaves to your skills, your thoughts, your desires. It is, in a way, ancient and yet it renews itself continually. On the journey down-river we will probably never encounter the same drop of water twice, the mood is always changing, the conditions vary, our own perception shifts, but we become familiar with the river's soul; a glimmer of sunshine suddenly makes us feel at home.

 

It will be interesting to see how Indonesia and the warm ocean will shift the relationship between Mary and Cobb. Ocean water has a different feel from river water and since water seems to be the vehicle of the romance I assume we will be shifted into the next phase.

Melissa_W
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Re: Eternal on the Water: The opening

The opening to Eternal on the Water reads much like a self-contained short story.  Because it opens a longer story arc (i.e. the remaining 300 or so pages of the novel) I wish the entire ending had not been given away; I find I am not quite as interested in the plot of the story now and have to rely on my interest in the main characters' relationship to pull me into the novel.

 

Melissa W.
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Tara_Golby
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Re: Eternal on the Water: The opening

When I opened up the book and was immediately hit with Mary's death I thought, "GREAT, a tear jerker..." At the same time, I was glad to have the warning that I will almost certainly be crying by the end of the book.  I have to make sure I don't read the last few chapters on my lunch break at work or on the train!  Beginning the book in this fashion also grabbed my attention, and it's been hard to put the book down since. 

 

Though I found the speed of their relationship a little unrealistic, I also found it romantic.  And knowing that they won't have much time together I was happy that they don't waste any time.  The wedding scene with the Chungamunga girls was beautiful, and while both Cobb and Mary seem to just be "playing" along, I think they both realize the seriousness of it.  It is a spiritual wedding for the two of them, as well as the Chungamunga girls who all share this bond and knowledge that most of them will not live to be married or find true love.