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

I am usually one of those people who doesn't like to read a book if I've already watched the movie (I don't think I can read a book where I already know the ending). However, this technique actually intrigued me. I wanted to know more about Mary and Cobb, and their love story is so beautifully written that you cannot help but continue to read even though you know what will happen to Mary.

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


Rachel-K 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?Both, at first I didn't like knowing the ending,but the more I read I realize it's OK because we don't know all the details.

 

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?They are away from their normal routines and have formed a bond based on their love of nature and the river. Put the same two people in a different setting and they might not fall in love. I do believe in rare circumstances that immediate true love does happen.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?Probably has something to do with Huntingtons.

 

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 Cobb admired Thoreau for his simple life. Mary seems to want to live each day to it's fullest and communing with nature.

 

What do you make of the wedding that the Chungamunga girls arrange for them? How seriously do all of them take it?The wedding was sweet. I think Cobb may have taken it seriously.

 

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 why Mary would want Cobb to know, so he could make a decision about staying with her. I think I could know the results without telling her. 

 


 

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

I agree with your thinking on this one.
spaz_k7 wrote:

Just a thought, but...Are we really sure that Mary has the disease? Maybe I missed something at the beginning, but didn't she say that as soon as she started developing symptoms she would kill herself? So isn't it possible that she thinks these things (nightmares, loss of balance, etc.) are symptoms and kills herself even if it turns out that they aren't? I would be very mad if it ended like this but maybe Cobb never finds out until she dies and then he looks at the test results and realizes she didn't even have the disease and only thought she was developing symptoms. That would be tragic. Anyway, I've just been wondering if it's possible that she doesn't actually have Huntington's.



 


 

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sifu-hotman
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

 


jabrkeKB wrote:
I agree with your thinking on this one.
spaz_k7 wrote:

Just a thought, but...Are we really sure that Mary has the disease? Maybe I missed something at the beginning, but didn't she say that as soon as she started developing symptoms she would kill herself? So isn't it possible that she thinks these things (nightmares, loss of balance, etc.) are symptoms and kills herself even if it turns out that they aren't? I would be very mad if it ended like this but maybe Cobb never finds out until she dies and then he looks at the test results and realizes she didn't even have the disease and only thought she was developing symptoms. That would be tragic. Anyway, I've just been wondering if it's possible that she doesn't actually have Huntington's.



 


 


 

That would actually make a pretty cool ending to the story.

 

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CharminKB
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎11-03-2009

Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Mary's death presented to us at the beginning is what kept me reading.  I right away did not get the feeling that there was anything vicious or malicious about the death...I only saw great sadness.  When I say that the death kept me reading I mean that I am not usually a romance reader and even though this proved to be quite a romance, I kept reading to see how they came to the point they were at the beginning of the book. 

Although I do believe in "Fate" and things "happening for a reason" and all that - I do not know if I believe in love at first sight.  I have personally never experienced it, nor have I witnessed it otherwise.  Immediate attractions, sure - immediate love.....not so sure.  Love is a big emotion for me and I may be too much of a skeptic to get past the level of trust one would need for immediate true love. 

I have mixed feelings about the Chugamunga wedding.....yes, it was "sweet" and it seemed to have made the girls happy, but I don't know how I feel about all the time that Cobb spent with the Chugamunga girls.  According to the story, the Chugamunga girls were carefully chosen and were given the chance to go away from their harsh reality to "just be girls" ---in other words, no men.....so why was Cobb so easily accepted into their activities???  Hmmmmm.....

 

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babzilla41
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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: 

 

Best wishes for a speedy and healthy recovery.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

 

b

"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
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thewanderingjew
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

 


Norma, I know that lots of good, positive prayers are going your way from all of us and lots of us believe in its power so chin up and happy reading.:smileyhappy: All of us have been touched by something so if you need to get over some rough spots or just talk about those you sail through, in the coming weeks and months, feel free to send us a private message.
twj
babzilla41 wrote:

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: 

 

Best wishes for a speedy and healthy recovery.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

 

b


 

 

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bookloverjb85
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I just finished this section of the book and immediately wanted to post my thoughts on it.  I apologize if I repeat anything others have already said.  The way Mary and Cobb's story began pulled me right in.  Even knowing that she dies in the end, I wanted to see how their relationship started.
At first Mary's nightmare startled me and I didn't understand what was going on.  Once we learned that her father had Huntington's and she might, the nightmare became clear to me.  I figure that she saw a lot of things happening with her father and is acting out nightmares of them now.

I loved that the Chungamunga girls wanted to have a wedding for Mary and Cobb.  It is obvious that everyone can see they are meant to be together.  I think Mary's conditions for Cobb to stay with her are reasonable and it is obvious that Cobb loves her so much that he would stay with her no matter what.

 

I love this novel so far and can't wait to read and discuss the next section of the book (will probably read it tonight).

--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
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bookloverjb85
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

 


Fozzie wrote:

The title for the book seems perfect on several levels.  Mary is a Chungamunga girl, so she already has a special bond with that particular water.  Cobb will always remember their trip together on the Allagash, so it is eternal in his memory.  Finally, because Mary died on the water, she is, in a sense, eternal on the water. 


 

I just wanted to say that I hadn't even thought of the fact that she died on the water and therefore is "eternal on the water".  Great insight and thought.

 

--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
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bookloverjb85
Posts: 168
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I can tell that this is a wonderfully written book because I keep forgetting that Cobb is telling this story to the ranger.  I feel like he is just telling me the story and that I am the only one there in front of him listening, sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the rest...

--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
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CleverTwenty
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I think Cobb confiding in discussing Mary's death set an interesting way to open a book. So it grabbed my attention. It also let me get used to the idea of one of the major characters dying.

 

  I absolutely believe in Yeti love :smileywink:. I have my own Yeti.

 

 

 

  I don't think the nightmares played much of a role in the book.

 

 I still don't know why he was so obsessed with Henry David Thoreau. I just thought it was a good reason for him to be in the woods.

 

I think everyone knew it was a meant to be and the wedding was a symbol of things to come. I thought it was an endearing idea. The Chungamunga girls was one of my favorite parts of the book. I didn't want the book to drift to another place.

 

   I think it was her disease and that being her right to know or not to know the results so by her asking Cobb to not tell her the results. Yes I could go long with her wishes.  I think this was beautifully written and the connection between the two was instant. I was drawn in the moment he realized they had the same truck just different colors.

Http://cleverlyinked.blogspot.com
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bookloverjb85
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

 


Fozzie wrote:
Along the same lines, I made note of Yeti love; "You never expect to see it, but you've heard it's out there and it might just be a legend.  But you keep looking for it anyway."

 

I forgot about this quote, but I loved it as well!  Thank you for reminding me about it.

 

--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
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Jeanne-ND91
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

As far as the book beginning with her death, it didn't bother me. I read a great book years ago that started this way, you knew the whole time what was going to happen but the end was just as sad and poignant as it would have been if you didn't know. I was drawn in to see how their lives went up until the end.

 

I believe there can be an immediate attraction to someone. Then the coincidences and similarities of your lives can make the like turn into love. I love the idea of "Yeti" love.

 

I thought the wedding was sweet and it took a lot of effort for the girls to put it together for them. It makes you wonder what Mary told the girls that they accepted Cobb so easily into their "girls only" environment. I really liked the poem they read.

 

It would be so hard for me to keep a secret like that. It's like finding out the sex of a baby and not being able to tell the person pregnant! But Mary had the right to request the things she did of Cobb; she didn't know him before. I think it would have been different if they would have been together and then she found out she had cancer. Then they would have to decide together what news to discover or not.


Jeanne Langen
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no4daughter
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

When I first received this book and read the cover, I wasn't sure if it was going to be a book that I would like.  Reading the end at the beginning was a clever hook that drew me into the story and now I can't wait to post my thoughts so that I can read all about Indonesia!

 

The fact that we learned right away how similar Cobb and Mary were (both teachers, same trucks, going kayaking to the same place) made it easier for me to buy into their immediate passion for each other.

 

I would not want to be in Cobb's shoes knowing whether or not Mary has the disease.  If she didn't, I would have a really hard time not telling her but I can understand why she did not want to know.

 

I love the Chungamunga girls and I hope that there is a group like this in real life. 

 

Whenever I post about the new First Look book, I find myself saying that this is the best one yet.  Here I am again:  I really think that this book IS the best one yet.  I am going to seek out more of Monninger's work after I finish this one.  Thanks B&N!

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

 


Popper19 wrote:

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


 

I'm wishing you the best Norma. 


 

My thoughts and prayers are with you too!

 

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jaycee88
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Agree with what's been posted here about knowing the 'end' at the beginnning. Found that an interesting way to start. What keeps me turning the pages is seeing where the journey between Mary and Cobb takes them. And the title "eternal on the water" as Mary very good.

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

[ Edited ]

 

 


krb2g wrote:

 

I'm not an expert, but as I understand it, the way the disease works genetically is: you have two copies of the gene that makes the Huntington's protein (one from your mother and one from your father)--and you only need one to be abnormal to develop the disease (the mutation that gives you HD is a dominant one). Unless your parent carrying the HD allele had 2 copies of the abnormal allele (generally unlikely), you have a 50% of being a carrier of the allele yourself. If both parents have HD, then you have a 75% chance of having the allele. 
Mary wouldn't be able to pass the allele on to her kids unless she had it herself, so in some ways, by sterilizing herself she's acting like she believes she has the disease (that is, if she didn't get the allele from her father she wouldn't be able to pass it on to her kids, and she would neither get HD nor need to sterilize herself because there's no way her kids would have HD).
If someone's already answered, I apologize for the repeat.

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?


 

 


 

I agree with you krb2g "by sterilizing herself she's acting like she believes she has the disease." 

 

This is so unlike the Mary we are introduced to.  Why would she do this if she wanted to live her life without the disease having any impact on her?

I know we all know by the first few pages she dies, but what if.  What if, being the main question, she doesn't have the disease and she did sterilize herself isn't she not truly living because of the disease or fear of the disease controlling her life? 

:smileyvery-happy:LOL maybe later on in the book this will be all crystal clear.

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al305j
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-02-2009

Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Hi, my name is Joshua.  This is my first time participating in the book clubs on Barnes and Noble.  I'm glad to meet everyone and I'm enthusiastic about reading your replies. 

 

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?

 

Like the movie Seven Pounds, I am given the ending at the beginning of the story. During the opening of the book, I‘m thinking, “What the hell happened to Mary?” Yes, for a moment my assumption resembles Something Henry: did Cobb kill her? I grabbed my reading tools to dig deeper and deeper . . . and deeper. So in this book, knowing the ending is the hook, dragging the reader throughout the novel to know more about this Cobb character, Cobb’s relationship with Mary, and how Mary died. Will a treat reward the reader at the end with something spectacular or will a trick await the reader at the end with a murderer, a killer of the reader’s time?

 

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 say the love story was somewhat a turn-off. Love at first sight? Are you serious? It made Mary seem more desperate, not more in love, since she most likely has Huntington’s disease. Therefore, the chances of another man falling in love with her fall--drastically. So it’s understandable she may think, “I fell in love with Cobb as soon as I saw him.” Maybe “love at first sight” for some people, but it must be a rare thing; reality doesn‘t seem to go that way. The writer seems to open us up to this idea with the following phrase: “in this universe, on this planet, in this country, in this state, in this country, beside this river . . .” Overall I think the author is saying that Cobb needs a lover with this kind of condition. Cobb needs someone who passionately lives life; it is due to Mary’s disease that she remembers how many days she has lived or studies ravens like she does, for example. Notice Cobb seems dispassionate about Thoreau in the first eight chapters. Cobb doesn’t go on and on about stories of Thoreau like Mary does with ravens. An occasional quote here and there. From that light, yeah, I can say the love story is interesting. This is no black or white question.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

 

Okay. We have a sleepwalker. “My mother used to tell me I had nightmares and I walked around . . . I once put my head through the spokes of a staircase and I couldn’t get out. I had gone down the block and up the stairs onto another porch, and for some reason I put my head into the railings of the porch, and for some reason I put my head into the railings of the porch and my head wouldn’t move” (64). So that’s how she died, I believe, as I was reading. You see, the author has an interesting way of trying to help the reader put the puzzle together with various scenarios, for, in the beginning, I was like, maybe Cobb killed her! Now I’m like, she died sleepwalking!

 

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?

 

While Cobb didn’t seem like he was thrilled about writing an essay about Thoreau due to all the essays already out there about that great personage, he just seems to be searching for the spirit of Thoreau embodied. Besides, Mary does love nature. She preaches the life of simplicity through fascinating examples. Don’t rush. Save the center of the sandwich for last, she says. “’Don’t spit into heaven,’ Mary says. “’Don’t tell the gods your plans; they’ll only laugh‘” (55). Those are two examples out of many more where Mary gives Cobb advice about living. Thoreau also thought his fellow man how to live.

 

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

 

It was cute and shows Mary’s relationship with the Chungamunga girls is very, very tight. I took the event seriously, just like a real marriage.

 

Could you know the test results without telling her?

 

Yes, if that’s what Mary wanted, I would respect her wishes. I could live without telling her.

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

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

 

 

I think the wedding arranged by the Chungamunga girls was truly enchanting.  It fit perfectly with the history of the Chungamunga girls and the spirit of nature surrounding them.  Mary and Cobb at first went along with the plans for the wedding but soon fell into the spell of the whole ceremony.  I think they were probably really married there in spirit.  The Chungamunga girls who planned the entire ceremony, of course, took it very seriously, for they all understand at their young ages that life is short and you embrace all things completely. 

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Nika24
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

Knowing the ending didn't matter to me, especially since the description of the book pretty much gave away that someone was dying. I was hooked from the first few pages. I couldn't put the book down and couldn't stop thinking about the characters long after I read their stories.

 

This uncomplicated love isn't really uncomplicated, it's just complicated in a different way because they have to enjoy the time they have together; that's a perspective most people don't think about in their daily lives, which is when the messy stuff creeps in.

 

I'm not sure I could keep the test results a secret. I would want to do that for someone I loved, but my emotions would get the best of me.