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

Knowing the Ending: It made me want to read on....I needed to know what caused the whole situation. I think It was a great way to begin the book in order to get a person interested and want to continue.

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

Allagash River Map

 

This shows generally where the Allagash River lies.  I posted a couple of sites for other maps on another thread, including this one, which has a variety of maps, but one must diddle a bit to get the zoom one wants.  Here is an Allagash River Canoe Trip  report.

 

One site basically says that Thoreau is integral to Allagash River lore and stories -- that one doesn't talk about the Allagash without talking about Thoreau.  So Monninger seems to be drawing on both literary tradition and local lore in weaving Thoreau into this tale. 


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.

 

It took me a minute to "get" this one.  When I did, I was a little irritated with the author for "telling" the reader in the next sentence.  I'm being picky, but I really thought he would have shown his skill a bit more if he had waited a few pages for the "aha" if we didn't "get it" on our own.  Sort of the reverse reaction some of us are having about not completely understanding about the bear - human stories yet.  (Something I read years and years ago said bears are the only other animal than humans with a sense of humor.  I suspect animal behavior research says something different today.)

 

 


socalreader wrote:

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. 

 

 


"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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MKDeanna
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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 the reading of Mary's death at the beginning showed the power of that particular setting.  It made me want to know why she would choose this location for her death. 
It definitely captured my attention (and warned me to have my tissues ready!).  I was slightly repelled to know that Cobb had a place in allowing her to die (and not save her), but I am also intrigued to know why.
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MKDeanna
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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?

 

As several of you have said, I too believe in "Yeti Love" and met my husband under chance circumstances.  This question reminded me of how many questioned my engagement after such a short time.  It doesn't happen for everyone, but it's possible!  :smileyhappy:

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

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

Luvs2read (a/k/a Norma)
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chris227
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I want to start by saying that I love this book so far!!  It has held me captive since page 1.  I just wish I had more time to read it!!

Next I will say that I am coming into this late on Monday already very behind so I am going to post first and then read so forgive me if I repeat what others have said.

 

 

 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 knowing the ending adds to the story.  My first thought was why would a young woman do this to herself?  Is Cobb telling the truth?  Why on a river?  Why the crows?  I just thought it was a brilliant opening and compeeled me to want to read on.

 

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?

 Mary and Cobb are the epitome of "love at first sight"  I don'know about immediate true love but I have a frim belief that was very well presented by Mary when she said "in a universe, on a continent, in a country..."  I thought this was just a beautiful way of presenting all of the small factors that must present themselves for two people to meet.  I'd like to think that true love like this can happen and the way it is written it seems totally believable that this could happen this way.  This just seems to have such a romantic and magical quality with them meeting on the river and going on this journey.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

 Initially with my nursing background I thought Mary was having a seizure, but this didn't make sense because an epileptic having recurring seizures couldn't drive and most certainly couldn't kayak down a river.  Now knowing more about Mary, her risk of Huntington's, and her attitude that she will not think about the Huntington's or let it rul her life, I think that the nightmares are her subconscious dealings with the anxiety and fear of having Huntington's.  When her mind and body shut down in sleep she can no longer suppress thoughts of the disease and she has nightmares.

 

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?

Cobb is an academic trying to get in touch with his hero.  I think that he takes the trip because he hopes that by taking the same journey that Thoreau did will give him more insight into the man he admires.  Mary is a total free spirit who sees beauty in everything, even in crows.  I would call her an environmental and she definitely lives simply, all traits of Thoreau's.  I think he is important to Cobb because he presents a simpler life.  He was a great writer but stood up for his beliefs.  I think he is what Cobb wants to be.

 

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 th wedding set up by the Chungamunga girls is actually the perfect wedding for the couple.  It is simple.  It uses nature.  It is beautiful.  I think that the Chungamunga girls take it very seriously and I think Mary and Cobb take it pretty seriously themselves and may in some ways seee themselves as actually married. 

 

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 that Mary's conditions for Cobb are pretty reasonable.  Huntington's is a very serious disease (for info see http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/huntington/huntington.htm).  People with Huntington's can become a whole new person and tend to get violent.  Cobbneeds to know what he needs to prepare for if Mary does manifest the disease.  I think she is taking some of the pressure off of herself and leaving the whole decision in his hands because as much as she says he can walk away she wants to be with him too.  Me, myself, could not know the result without telling her.  If she doesn't then it's hurray let's celebrate, if she does I think that the emotion would present itself unwillingly.  It is a very tought decision to make but I guess we already know what he decided.

 

 


 

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tammypennington
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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 enjoyed the beginning of the novel.  it captured my attention from the first sentances.

 

 

Do you believe in immediate true love like this one?  

 

I absolutely believe in Yeti love....I was lucky enough to have it with my husband.  But no relationship is perfect harmony!  Of course this section was just their first days/weeks....the 'honeymoon' period...

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

 

I thought that she was having a seizure in the tent...

 

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

 

i thought it was beautiful...and showed the hope that the girls still had about life.


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 how it would be possible to keep that from someone, especially someone who you are desperately in love with.  You would see that all over my face.  I would probably not want to know if my partner didn't want to know either.

 

 

LoVE LOVE LOVE this book!

Tammy in Seattle
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chris227
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

I love the part about Yti love too.  Monniger definitely has a way with words and there will definitely be a lot from this book that stays with me long after I shut the last page.


Fozzie wrote:

The book is wonderful so far and very unique. 

 

I am relishing the crow stories that Mary tells (pgs. 55 and 90, for example).  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."  So clever!

 

Knowing the end of the story didn't really impact me until page 90.  Prior to that, I had assumed that Mary had cancer, or something that happened later in the relationship between she and Cobb.  When I realized, along with Cobb, that Mary may already be ill, I felt sad.  Immediately, though, I realized that I knew more than they did at that point in the story --- Mary must have developed symptoms.  Then the story took on a bittersweet feeling to it.

 

At the end of this section of reading, I am left wondering if Cobb will find out the results of Mary's test.  Even if he didn't tell her, there is no way that knowing the results one way or another would not affect the way he acted.  I think either both have to know or neither can know.

 

I think the writings of Thoreau (a simplistic life) will become more important to Cobb as he uses lessons from them to live his life with Mary. 


 

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

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

 

I promise I have not read the whole book, but I cannot help but wonder if the nightmares are a foreshadowing of her death (or a brian tumor as others have suggested).  Perhaps the lady in the purple robe is a symbol.

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chris227
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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?


 

I don't know if anyone answered or not.  To put it simply, genes are set up in pairs on the chromosomes.  A person with Huntington's disease has a pair of genes in which one gene (the HD gene) is abnormal and presents itself as the more dominant gene, in this case the person has Huntington's.  When the person has a child the gene's split so a person with Huntington's has a 50-50 chance of passing the HD gene on to offspring.  If Mary does not have Huntington's she did not get the HD gene and therefore would not be able to pass it along to her children.  Mary either does or does not have gene.  If you carry th gene you will develop the disease. 

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GreenFairyLV
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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?

 Oh I didn't like it at first.  I really didn't.  But that quickly changed.  When I started reading chapter 1 I felt if I hadn't read the prologue I probably wouldn't like Mary all that much.  I think she would have came off as a little too loopy 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 do believe in true love.  I do love reading about the immediate true love, even if it is a little over the top, its nice to get swept away with them.

 

What do you make of Mary's nightmares?

 I really think she was just having a nightmare and nothing else.  Her reaction though shows how scared she really is that she might have this disease.

 

 

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

It's a silly thing and then again its not.  Most of them will never live long enough to get married.  They are living this moment with Mary.  I think to Mary and Cobb this marriage is more meaningful, its the whole completion of their relationship, they are "eternal on this river."

 

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

It will be a very hard/short life with Mary.  But to feel passionate and free with someone, even for a short period, is worth all the heartache.

I would end up telling her, or giving it away.  I think it would be best for me not to know either if they didn't want to know themselves. 

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

Thanks chris227 for answering my question.  The Huntington's disease was something I was having trouble getting my head around. 

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

I've been having a rough couple of months.

 

Norma -- check your PM box.  Pepper

 

Look forward to what you are able to contribute here as your strength and interests allow.  Take care! 


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


"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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coffee_luvr
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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 didn't mind that we know Mary dies.  It intrigued me to discover why this happened.

 

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, but not sure I believe in immediate true love.   I for one struggled with how quickly they both fell for each other.  

 

 

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

Initially, I thought they were just playing along for the girls, but the end of the "ceremony" was touching. 

 

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

That would be tough......I sure would try.

 

 


 

 

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara Tuchman
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GreenFairyLV
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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


 

Hi Norma,

Take your time reading.  You don't have to stay right with the schedule.  Lots of people post on the first few chapters while a lot of the group are posting farther on.  You won't be the only one, I promise. Take your time, enjoy the book. We all go back and look at people's comments.  I look forward to reading your take on this book.

I wish you the best.

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

 


chris227 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?


 

I don't know if anyone answered or not.  To put it simply, genes are set up in pairs on the chromosomes.  A person with Huntington's disease has a pair of genes in which one gene (the HD gene) is abnormal and presents itself as the more dominant gene, in this case the person has Huntington's.  When the person has a child the gene's split so a person with Huntington's has a 50-50 chance of passing the HD gene on to offspring.  If Mary does not have Huntington's she did not get the HD gene and therefore would not be able to pass it along to her children.  Mary either does or does not have gene.  If you carry th gene you will develop the disease. 


 

Thank-you, very helpful. 

 

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara Tuchman
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krb2g
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

 

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?


 

 

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krb2g
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 1-8

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. 

 

I didn't mind knowing the ending at the beginning: although we know Mary dies, a lot of questions remain unanswered. Also, in most good books that I've read, I have a general sense of how the ending is going to turn out long before I finish (for example, there was never any doubt in my mind about whether Harry would defeat Voldemort). If I were only worried about how things ended, I would never re-read books. Instead, for me, the point of reading is not the ending but the journey to the ending. What plot choices does the author make? How do characters develop and change? What kinds of language, what words does the author choose?

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

I did not mind that the ending came first - it makes me intrigued to find out how the Mary and Cobb got to that point.

 

At first I thought the coincidences were pretty far-fetched (especially the same kind of trucks and kayaks !!) , but having experienced immediate true love myself, I could understand.  True love is rare and one is lucky if it is found in this life..  I was a little amazed by how quickly they were swimming naked together and making love since they both have never been married or even had a long commitment.

 

I am not wanting to put the book down :womanhappy:

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joyfull
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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?

 

I felt this was an honest beginning. I read love stories often and they almost always have a happily-ever-after ending. I'm okay with that. What I like to see is what happens to get to that ending. I knew Eternal on the Winter was going to be a love story so, for me, it was important to know ahead of time that this was not going to have a happy ending. I appreciate that. 

 



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Margot
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