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LindaEducation
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

I found Joan to be a very likeable and kind person. A good Mom, and wanting the best for her daughter.  I think she really took to Cobb right away, and likes him being with Mary.  It must be hard for Joan as her husband had the same disease that her daughter has.  She seems like a strong yet sensitive woman. I liked Freddie a lot also.

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. -- Paul Sweeney
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kitkat2230
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

What is your impression of Mary's mother, and of her attitude toward Mary's illness?

I think she's very calm about Mary's disease, but then again she's had a lot of time to deal with what will happen to Mary. I think she's come to peace with it and has an understanding of why someone might not want to stick around because of it.


 

Are you disturbed by Cobb not talking to Mary about her mother's revelation? Would it be easier to talk or to not talk about a loved one's sickness and death?

I'm not disturbed by Cobb not talking to Mary about her mother's revelation because it was Mary's wish for them not to talk about it if Cobb found out. I think if you love someone enough you grant their wishes. I couldn't say if it would be easier to talk or not talk about a loved one's sickness/death. I think it depends on the situation and the wishes of the ones who are involved. Some people like to avoid it and some people need to discuss it, it just depends.

 

 

What impression do you have of the mother and son at the end of chapter ten, when they come to see Mary off, and offer her their gratitude?

I think it is a little typical that the local come to give thanks to the foreigners like they did. It's a nice gesture, but it seems to be that this is a typical reaction when giving their gratitude.

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Bonnie_C
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

Mary's mother:  What a nice level-headed lady to have by your side when the  going gets tough.  The experience she went through with her husband's death coupled with her experience as a nurse gives her a firm foundation for helping Mary.

 

The Indonesian landscape:  The main points from this part of the book were the introduction to Freddy and the scene where Freddy lets the turtles go out into the open sea.  I think this was a huge lesson for Cobb on how to say goodbye to someone or something you cherish.

 

Cobb and Mary:  Mary herself dictates the what, when and how things are discussed about her illness.  Cobb is just doing as Mary wishes whether he feels comfortable with it or not.

 

Ken Carter:  I thought this was just very minor and did not attribute much to it at all.  I did wonder about the fact that Cobb is relating this entire story to the park ranger.  In telling the love story of his life, would he include something so trivial as running into Ken Carter while in Indonesia?

 

Mary as a doctor:  I thought this segment went a bit over the top.  Mary said so many times "I am not a doctor", I thought her next line would be "but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night."

 

 

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bookloverjb85
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

I have to say that I thought this section was a great wrap up from the Allagash River section.  In the first section Mary and Cobb fall in love and we see that.  This section we see how that relationship is mantained, I am sure there is more to come.

I did not find it shocking that Mary has Huntington's, since we have read the beginning.  I did not think that Mary's mother would have known for so long though.  I would find that hard as a parent to know, especially since she has already had to deal with her husband having it.

I was wondering if someone could clarify something for me though.  Does Freddy know that Mary has Huntington's?  At one point Cobb and Freddy are discussing Mary and Freddy mentions something about her being happy for as long as she is around.  I did not know if Freddy knew whether Mary had it, and does Freddy have Huntington's?  It hasn't been mentioned yet and I don't know if it will, but that is one question that will be in the back of my mind while reading the rest of this book.

 

I think that what Mary did for that little boy and mother was amazing.  I think it also shows us how much she had to deal with medical issues throughout her life.  I do not think that most people would know to do what she did and she was all ready and somewhat willing to do a tracheotomy (spelling?).  It shows that she has seen and dealt with a lot more than most people at this point in their lives.

--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
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jbg78
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

Mary's Mom....I thought that Joan was an interesting and strong person.  I can't even imagine how hard it would be to let a child go live life when you know what is in the cards for them.

 

Landscape change... Something had to change, and I loved Freddy and the turtles.

 

Cobb not talking to Mary...Why talk about a fact that you all know is going to happen. I thought it took a pretty strong person to respect the request that had been made.

 

Saving the boy...Interesting side story is what I thought, but is it really what Mary wants to have happen to her... that someone will step in and save her from a life ending disease.

 

Thank you from the boy and mother...Nice touch. In a world that often forgets to say Thank you.  It is such a simple gesture that means so much!

 

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb~
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JillinOH
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia[ NEW ] Options Mark Message as New What is your impression of Mary's mother, and of her attitude toward Mary's illness? She is one of my fav characters because she respects Mary's choices about how to live her life and doesn't smother her becasue she has an illness. Our landscape changes dramatically in these brief chapters. How does the story change? Having recently traveled to Singapore and Bali, specifically Kuta Beach, I was very drawn to these chapters because it was easy to picture and brought back pleasant memories. The story shifts to revolve around more than just Mary but her brother who, although he conjures up a hokey image of some surfer dude in my mind, is making a difference while chosing not to conform to society's expectations of what he maybe should be doing. I think this shows how Mary's parents raised their children in an open minded way and how they accept them as they are. Are you disturbed by Cobb not talking to Mary about her mother's revelation? Would it be easier to talk or to not talk about a loved one's sickness and death? No, I think it respects Mary's mother and Mary. Mary is mistaken for a doctor, and although she explains that she isn't, she also rises to the occasion, and saves a boy's life in Lombok. What do we see about Mary in these scenes? Does the story of saving the child shed any light on Mary's condition? Does it change your feelings about her sickness at all? Mary's strength is shown in becoming the leader in getting through this crisis. What impression do you have of the mother and son at the end of chapter ten, when they come to see Mary off, and offer her their gratitude? Predictable but satisfying to read.
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TamCG
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

I just had to chime in because I was somewhat surprised at some of the responses (don't get me wrong - love to read everyone's stuff, that's why we are who we are).  For me this part of the book was more so about inspiration.  Inspiration to be a better person, inspiration to give a little boy a chance that Mary knows she will not have in the end.  Seeing as how she was the only help at the time - believe me, being a mom you would do anything for your child and due to their surroundings and the limited help Mary's slight knowledge would be better then doing nothing.  I also totally missed the whole "your island" meaning that others picked up.  I took it the same - it was a brother and sister talking to each other in a frenzied conversation - like dude, it's your freaking island, you know more then me... She was not on a podium stating "this is my brother's island".  But as I said, that's why we are who we are - have to love our different perceptions :smileyhappy: 

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dclement04
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

Mary is mistaken for a doctor, and although she explains that she isn't, she also rises to the occasion, and saves a boy's life in Lombok. What do we see about Mary in these scenes? Does the story of saving the child shed any light on Mary's condition? Does it change your feelings about her sickness at all?

 

I was soooo impressed by this part of the book. There is no way that I would ever have been able to do what she did....under so much pressure to save a life and not be a medical doctor. WOW! really fantastic.

She didnt even flinch it seemed. Mary just has this attitude about her that shows that because she thinks she is sick she can take on everything and anything. I admire that.

 

I would have frozen up but maybe just maybe by me watching Grey's Anatomy I might have been able to do something haha.


What impression do you have of the mother and son at the end of chapter ten, when they come to see Mary off, and offer her their gratitude?

 

That was very touching and it didn't surprise me because of the kind of people they were. they already seemed very grateful and thankful to have her there. so i would assume anyone in that position would show some type of gratitude. 

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coffee_luvr
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

 


What is your impression of Mary's mother, and of her attitude toward Mary's illness?

 

My impression of Mary's mother is that she has come to live with the knowledge of what Mary faces and is resigned to it.   As a mother she is doing what she can to respect Mary and how she wants to live her life.  I liked Mary's mother.  I would think that it would be very, very difficult not to interfere and "take care" of Mary.  I would imagine that deep down, this must be so hard....to let your child handle their issues as they feel they need to, I cannot imagine how hard that would be. 

 

Our landscape changes dramatically in these brief chapters. How does the story change?

 

For me, this section seemed like a "vacation " in the middle of the story.  It felt like maybe this could be Mary and Cobb's escape from reality for a brief time.  Don't know if it ties in differently in the end as I have not read too far ahead a this point. 

 

Are you disturbed by Cobb not talking to Mary about her mother's revelation?

I thought Cobb not talking to Mary about what he discovered was perfect.  Like I mentioned above, I had the feeling that this section was a kind of escape.  I think it was the right way to handle the revelation.  I think Mary wanted to give Cobb a chance to bail if he couldn't handle the reality. 

 

When Ken Carter talks of going to school at St. Paul's, do you get a clearer idea of who Cobb is, or what ordinary life was like for him, just before the novel opened and he embarked on this adventure?


Not really; just got a look into the school history.

 

Mary is mistaken for a doctor, and although she explains that she isn't, she also rises to the occasion, and saves a boy's life in Lombok. What do we see about Mary in these scenes? Does the story of saving the child shed any light on Mary's condition? Does it change your feelings about her sickness at all?

I can't say that Mary helping the boy changed any impression I had of Mary's sickness.  I did wonder how Mary was able to know what to do, not entirely sure that was realistic.  I could feel her desperation to change the outcome for the boy and felt it was showing us her drive to change fate.  She can't save herself but she sure was going to save this boy if at all possible.

 

What impression do you have of the mother and son at the end of chapter ten, when they come to see Mary off, and offer her their gratitude? 

They did not have wealth or possessions but needed to show Mary and everyone their overwhelming gratitude.  I mean as a mother, how do you thank someone adequately for helping to save your child's life?  It was a touching scene.


 

 

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara Tuchman
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bookloverjb85
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

This is exactly what I was thinking and feeling as I was reading the other posts, as well.  I just took it as the fact that Mary did have some knowledge of medical procedures and was able to help as much as she could.

--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
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krb2g
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

The thing that made me a little uneasy about Mary's mother is not so much that she already knew that Mary has the HD gene, but that she didn't tell Mary that she knew. It's completely logical (and fair) to me that parents, already knowing a family history of HD, would have a test run on their minor child to see if she carried the gene. It's even logical to me that they wouldn't tell the child at that point the diagnosis or that the tests had been run. I think, though, that as Mary grew up, and reached the point where she could decide for herself whether she wanted to know if she had the disease or not, it would have been more honest of Joan to tell Mary that Joan knew the results of Mary's test.

 

As I go back through the book to double check, though, I think Mary's also in a form of denial. When Wally tells Cobb about the reason Chungamunga girls are chosen, she says "most of the girls face serious illnesses" (89). Here, she may be covering for Mary, so Mary can reveal her own illness at her own rate, or the criterion for selecting Chungamunga girls might actually be something like the girl must either be diagnosed with a serious illness or have a parent who has a serious genetic illness. As far as I know, the text doesn't clarify. When Cobb confronts Mary she says "'All of the girls are sick'" and that "'[Nancy Wexler] carries it. I carry it. I have already arranged things so I can't have children'" (96, 98). The girls are not all "'sick right there and then. Most aren't in fact. But they have a cloud on the horizon, a bad diagnosis'" (99). With all these comments taken together, it seems to me that Mary knows she has the disease (otherwise she wouldn't be invited to become a Chungamunga girl, otherwise she wouldn't have taken steps so she couldn't have children [especially since children can only get HD from parents who have HD--it's a dominant mutation]) and is unwilling to admit that to herself.

 

Incidentally, Joan also thinks that Mary knows and chooses to avoid it, but perhaps Joan's perspective is clouded by Joan's knowledge (that Mary has the disease).

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dhaupt
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

 


nlsamson wrote:
I had one sister who died from complications with her leukemia... my other sister (also the oldest) had stage 4 breast cancer and opted for no chemo.. she spent her time preparing the rest of us for what she knew all along would be her death. Every day I am thankful for the choices she made, she gave the rest of us a gift that no one else could have. And in turn made her passing a beautiful experience. Yes we cried, we still mourn her almost 4 years later, but she still gave us a gift, alot like what I think Mary is trying to do, while not knowing for sure one way or another...


 

 

nisamson,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss of two sisters. I also have two sisters and I know if I lost one of them I would be devastated. But hearing your words soothes me that the time spent until then was wonderful.

Thank you for sharing that with us.

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dhaupt
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

 


krb2g wrote:

The thing that made me a little uneasy about Mary's mother is not so much that she already knew that Mary has the HD gene, but that she didn't tell Mary that she knew. It's completely logical (and fair) to me that parents, already knowing a family history of HD, would have a test run on their minor child to see if she carried the gene. It's even logical to me that they wouldn't tell the child at that point the diagnosis or that the tests had been run. I think, though, that as Mary grew up, and reached the point where she could decide for herself whether she wanted to know if she had the disease or not, it would have been more honest of Joan to tell Mary that Joan knew the results of Mary's test.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your opinion, I don't agree with it and let me tell you why.

When Joan found out that Mary carried the gene, Mary was just a child and I'm sure you could agree that Joan couldn't tell Mary then. And as Mary grew up and made her choice about not knowing clear, I don't think Joan could go against her wishes. I don't feel that Joan didn't want to tell Mary, but that she respected Mary's wishes to not know.

Also think about this, by contacting the Chungmunga girls Joan was telling Mary in the only way she knew how that Mary was going to get the disease? I mean only very sick girls got to go on those adventures and Mary wasn't sick when she got the invitation. So I think that by her being invited, learning about the meaning of the girls and participating in the events made Mary aware of the situation without Joan breaking Mary's wish to be told. 

Those are just my thoughts on the subject. What do you think?

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T-Mo
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

For me, it would be entirely way too hard to not talk about a loved one’s sickness and death. I’m not sure how Cobb continued on in Indonesia and didn’t mention one word to Mary. To me, it seemed he barely gave it a second thought, especially when he was with Mary. Knowing myself, I know it would weigh heavily on my mind, and more so when I was in the presence of the affected person. I’m not sure how I feel about this aspect of things, with relation to the story. It may be a bit unbelievable to me. Having just confirmed the truth, how could he carry on as if everything was ok? I think it’s human nature to have a reaction to such a sad revelation, yet we don’t ever see Cobb react.

 

 


Rachel-K wrote:

 

Are you disturbed by Cobb not talking to Mary about her mother's revelation? Would it be easier to talk or to not talk about a loved one's sickness and death?

 


 

 

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CharminKB
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

Again, I think my feelings are much like a lot of others concerning some of these subjects. 

I didn't expect anything different from Mary's mother...she has experienced the illness once, so I imagine she has come to terms with it.  She has also known about Mary;s illness for some time, so again, I think she has made her peace with it and can but it behind in her some ways.

I'm not disturbed by Cobb not speaking to Mary about the mother's revelation.....it just falls into line with all the other oddities with their relationship.  Don't talk about it and its not there kind of thing.

I too am a little overwhelmed about the extraordinary things that seem to keep happening to this couple.  Their love affair is exaggerated enough - but having Mary save a boys life??  We get that she's a great gal---but I think this was adding a little too much glam!!

The ending I also found a bit bizarre.  I'm okay with her wanting to end her life her way - but the "send off" was just a bit too bizarre for me.  I also find it hard to believe that all these people agreed to this without hesitation....not even so much as an objection.  Personally, I would never want to see my family members suffer, but I don't think I would so easily agree to such behavior.  This kind of selfish goes both ways.

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biljounc63
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

I for one liked the location change. I was a nice escape for me enduring yet another New England winter. I found myself envious of the locale and saying what an ideal dream job Turtle Freddy has. I could picture myself living there with the turtles.The Sea, palm trees...

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nfam
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

 I thought Mary's mother was very realistic about Mary's illness. Mary wanted to live life to the full. There was no reason to saddle her with visions of sickness and death. Sometimes it is best to let people have their dreams. I'm sure Mary sensed that she had Huntington's, but why dwell on it. 

 

I also thought Cobb did the right thing by not talking to her about it. There wasn't anything medical to be done. All he could do was love her.

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ssizemore
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

I am wondering if the section in Indonesia is meant to mirror the questions of life and death.  Generally people who are involved in nature have great reverence for life.  Freddy did his utmost to see to it that the turtles survived.  When the little boy is in desperate need of help, Mary does all that she knows to do.  I am not an outdoorsy person, but I do know that people who are generally have rudimentary knowledge of first aid.  Mary was a kyacker and probably a hiker too, so she would have been able to try (at least) to administer some treatment.  A tracheotomy?  I don't know, but I do think that the value of the child's life is stressed in this scene.  She does everything she can to save the boy's life--all the while telling the crowd that she was not a doctor.

Juxtaposed to this is Mary's fearlessness in the face of a terminal illness.  She clearly values all life--as does her mother, a nurse, and her brother, a devout naturalist.  Her acceptance of death comes from another place altogether.

Joe, if I am way off the mark---sorry!  I do see the themes of beauty and life as major in the novel.

What do you think?

Sandy


TamCG wrote:

I just had to chime in because I was somewhat surprised at some of the responses (don't get me wrong - love to read everyone's stuff, that's why we are who we are).  For me this part of the book was more so about inspiration.  Inspiration to be a better person, inspiration to give a little boy a chance that Mary knows she will not have in the end.  Seeing as how she was the only help at the time - believe me, being a mom you would do anything for your child and due to their surroundings and the limited help Mary's slight knowledge would be better then doing nothing.  I also totally missed the whole "your island" meaning that others picked up.  I took it the same - it was a brother and sister talking to each other in a frenzied conversation - like dude, it's your freaking island, you know more then me... She was not on a podium stating "this is my brother's island".  But as I said, that's why we are who we are - have to love our different perceptions :smileyhappy: 


 

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coffee_luvr
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia


Rachel-K wrote:

BookWoman718 wrote:

HBT wrote:

 

I am not disturbed that Cobb did not talk to Mary about what her mother told him. It made him more honorable that way. The conditions were that he did not tell her one way or the other. Personally I know it is easier not to talk about the sickness or death of a loved one. Of course it is different for each individual.

--------------

 

I have to say I have had exactly the opposite life experience.  It was, for me and for most other survivors I have known, necessary to talk about the illness and death of our loved ones.  Both with the patient, while they were still alive, and of course after they are gone, with others.  I can't imagine keeping such strong emotions bottled away from your partner.  I understand that Cobb could talk to his father and to Mary's mother, and I'm sure that would help, but the sharing of the experience of life-threatening illness and end of life issues is one of intense intimacy. Even before you know "for sure" the ultimate diagnosis.  It is very much like the anticipation of a much desired birth;  you are sharing the very stuff of human love and life. 


I also had the opportunity to go through that experience with a loved one, and also found that the death process--very surprisingly and strangely--does mirror the birth experience, although I'm not sure I've heard anyone else put it that way.


I think every individual is unique in how they handle the stress of losing a loved one and talking about the disease or illness while that person is alive and after they have passed.  I can see both sides; I believe it is a personal journey.  For quite some time before and after I lost someone close to me to a lengthy illness, I did not want to discuss any feelings with people close to me. My thoughts were that discussion wouldn't change the outcome. 

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara Tuchman
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milkamilka
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Re: Eternal on the Water: Chapters 9-10, Indonesia

What is your impression of Mary's mother, and of her attitude toward Mary's illness?

I get the feeling that Mary's mother is really caring and lovely but somehow I just feel like she is a little distant to Mary. She is not at all like Cobb's father who is a much more visible character in the story. I guess that Mary's mother's occupation makes her to take Mary's sickness a little more professionally on some occasions.

 

Our landscape changes dramatically in these brief chapters. How does the story change?

I think that the story got a lot more interesting after the landscape change. Mary and Cobb start to know each other a lot more and I think that Freddy is huge factor in changing the story because I love him as a character.

 

Are you disturbed by Cobb not talking to Mary about her mother's revelation? Would it be easier to talk or to not talk about a loved one's sickness and death?

Cobb promised Mary that he would not talk about the results of the test etc. and he keeps his promise. This made me a little uneasy because I think that no one would not be able to hold that kind of thing inside one self. I think this shows that Cobb is a little "too perfect" as a character.

 

When Ken Carter talks of going to school at St. Paul's, do you get a clearer idea of who Cobb is, or what ordinary life was like for him, just before the novel opened and he embarked on this adventure?

I got to know more about Cobb, which I was happy about. I was waiting for some "darkness" in his character because I still think that he is too perfect. Someway the only thing we get to know about Cobb's past is his family and his job, so maybe his life was a little boring before Mary. I just feel like Cobb's life "started" when he met Mary.

 

Mary is mistaken for a doctor, and although she explains that she isn't, she also rises to the occasion, and saves a boy's life in Lombok. What do we see about Mary in these scenes? Does the story of saving the child shed any light on Mary's condition? Does it change your feelings about her sickness at all?

Mary is really caring person and she does not give up easily. She does her everything to save the boy from the island. I feel like Mary is perfect too and her only "fault" is her sickness which grows all the time.

 

What impression do you have of the mother and son at the end of chapter ten, when they come to see Mary off, and offer her their gratitude?

This must be a cultural thing. I think it is a great way to show respect but it is something totally weird for me because we don't do like that in our culture.