Eternal on the Water
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Eternal on the Water

3.98 (1,703 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Cobb, a devoted teacher and nature-lover, takes a sabbatical from his New England boys prep school seeking to experience what Henry David Thoreau and the transcendentalists did in the early nineteenth century. Kayaking to the last known spot where the American writer and philosopher camped four years before he died, he encounters the beautiful free-spirited Mary. Also a teacher, avid bird-watcher, and deft adventurist, Mary is flirtatious and beguiling, and the two soon become inseparable. Mary is like no one Cobb has ever met before, but he gets the feeling that she is harboring a secret. Eventually she shares her fears with Cobb--that she may be carrying the gene for a devastating, incurable illness that runs in her family. Finding strength in their commitment to one another, the two embark on a journey that is filled with joy, anguish, hope, and most importantly, unending love. Set against the sweeping natural backdrops of Maine's rugged backcountry, the exotic islands of Indonesia, scenic Yellowstone National Park, and rural New England, Tender River is a timeless and poignant love story that will captivate readers everywhere.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 139.7 x 208.28 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • POCKET BOOKS
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1439168334
  • 9781439168332
  • 299,076

Review quote

Praise for The World as We Know It "Ask yourself when the last time it was that you read a book so beautiful and agonizing that it made you cry for joy and sorrow. The World As We Know It does that." --Bookreporter "Monninger has homed in on the beauty and cruelty of the natural world in this gripping and moving story of loss and understanding. Readers ... will revel in Monninger's warm and graceful descriptions of rural New Hampshire and his adept understanding of the landscape of human relationships." --Booklist "Joe Monninger beautifully captures the essence of childhood adventure and the sweet innocence of falling in love for the first time. Fans of John Irving, you have a new author to love." --Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice and Left Neglected "Joe Monninger is a brilliant writer. No one understands nature the way he does, under his skin and straight to his bones. He writes about new love with such tension, emotion, and the deep passion and understanding that develops between two people. The novel will keep you up all night. Eternal on the Water will be a classic." --Luanne Rice, NYTimes bestselling author of The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners "A touching love story immersed in the beautiful simplicity of nature and life lived in the present moment." --Lisa Genova, NYTimes bestselling author of Still Alice "Love conquers all, the saying goes, but it can't win out over the disease that befalls Mary Fury, the seemingly unflappable heroine at the center of Monninger's poignant, if a bit overlong, novel. Fury has the gene for Huntington's, a cruel affliction that attacks the body slowly, reducing a once healthy person to a mass of twitching muscles and nerves. Jonathan Cobb, a University of New Hampshire professor on sabbatical, learns the grim reality of Mary's situation shortly after the two meet (and instantly fall in love) on the Allagash River. This is the land of Thoreau's Walden Pond, and Cobb had come there to experience firsthand the pleasures of a simple life illustrated by its celebrated author. When Mary begins showing signs of Huntington's, the two must cope with the inevitable, which includes honoring Mary's wishes to live out her days as she sees fit. Monninger (Baby, 2007) is a gifted writer, and readers able to overlook a few maudlin moments will relish this eloquently rendered tale." --Booklist Praise for The World as We Know It "Ask yourself when the last time it was that you read a book so beautiful and agonizing that it made you cry for joy and sorrow. The World As We Know It does that." --Bookreporter "Monninger has homed in on the beauty and cruelty of the natural world in this gripping and moving story of loss and understanding. Readers ... will revel in Monninger's warm and graceful descriptions of rural New Hampshire and his adept understanding of the landscape of human relationships." --Booklist "Joe Monninger beautifully captures the essence of childhood adventure and the sweet innocence of falling in love for the first time. Fans of John Irving, you have a new author to love." --Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice and Left Neglected "Genuinely enchanting! If you ever went to summer camp, this book is especially for you!" --Kaya McLaren, author of On the Divinity of Second Chances "Joseph Monninger's Eternal on the Water is a compelling and poignant love story. His two characters, both strong and independent, meet by chance in the Maine wilderness and find in each other the depth of connection they have been searching for and the confrontation with mortality they have been dreading all their lives. Their celebration of life and their emotional parting will touch you deeply and move you to tears." --Selden Edwards, author of The Little Book "Eternal on the Water is a book that reminds you that joy and sorrow are inextricably entwined, that one means less without the other. What would you do if you were Mary, or Cobb? This luminescent story will never leave you. I adored it." --Dorothea Benton Frank "Eternal on the Water is more than a heartfelt love story. It is a beautiful and searching exploration of the meaning of commitment and the majesty of nature, told in the strong, clear voice of a true believer. In these pages, there is much to learn of life, death, love and healing. It's a book to savor and then to share." --Susan Wiggs, NYT bestselling author of Just Breathe and Lakeshore Christmas Joe Monninger is a brilliant writer. No one understands nature the way he does, under his skin and straight to his bones. He writes about new love with such tension, emotion, and the deep passion and understanding that develops between two people. The novel will keep you up all night. Eternal on the Water will be a classic." --Luanne Rice, NYTimes bestselling author of The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners " A touching love story immersed in the beautiful simplicity of nature and life lived in the present moment." --Lisa Genova, NYTimes bestselling author of Still Alice" "Love conquers all, the saying goes, but it can t win out over the disease that befalls Mary Fury, the seemingly unflappable heroine at the center of Monninger s poignant, if a bit overlong, novel. Fury has the gene for Huntington s, a cruel affliction that attacks the body slowly, reducing a once healthy person to a mass of twitching muscles and nerves. Jonathan Cobb, a University of New Hampshire professor on sabbatical, learns the grim reality of Mary s situation shortly after the two meet (and instantly fall in love) on the Allagash River. This is the land of Thoreau s Walden Pond, and Cobb had come there to experience firsthand the pleasures of a simple life illustrated by its celebrated author. When Mary begins showing signs of Huntington s, the two must cope with the inevitable, which includes honoring Mary s wishes to live out her days as she sees fit. Monninger (Baby, 2007) is a gifted writer, and readers able to overlook a few maudlin moments will relish this eloquently rendered tale." --Booklist" "Henry David Thoreau meets Nicholas Sparks in this poignant love story rooted in the forests of Maine. On sabbatical, prep school teacher Jonathan Cobb's only goal is to retrace Thoreau's historic 92-mile journey along the Allagash Waterway by kayak, little realizing that, like Thoreau, he will soon "front only the essential facts of life" after meeting Mary Fury on his first night camping. An experienced, exuberant outdoorswoman, Mary invites Cobb to join her for a lecture at the Chungamunga camp for girls suffering with medical illnesses. There, Cobb is impressed by the camaraderie of the group, drawn in by their emphasis on creativity, mythology and survival skills. His growing feelings for Mary are put to the test when she reveals that she's suffering from Huntington's disease, and details the condition's debilitating path. Though the plot sometimes drags through Monninger's numerous digressions, his keen eye for nature, subtle incorporation of indigenous myths and use of symbolism make for a memorable story of love and courage." --PW Praise for "The World as We Know It" "Ask yourself when the last time it was that you read a book so beautiful and agonizing that it made you cry for joy and sorrow. "The World As We Know It" does that." --"Bookreporter" "Monninger has homed in on the beauty and cruelty of the natural world in this gripping and moving story of loss and understanding. Readers ... will revel in Monninger s warm and graceful descriptions of rural New Hampshire and his adept understanding of the landscape of human relationships." --"Booklist" "Joe Monninger beautifully captures the essence of childhood adventure and the sweet innocence of falling in love for the first time. Fans of John Irving, you have a new author to love." --Lisa Genova, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Still Alice" and "Left Neglected"" "Joseph Monninger's "Eternal on the Water" is a compelling and poignant love story. His two characters, both strong and independent, meet by chance in the Maine wilderness and find in each other the depth of connection they have been searching for and the confrontation with mortality they have been dreading all their lives. Their celebration of life and their emotional parting will touch you deeply and move you to tears." --Selden Edwards, author of "The Little Book" ""Eternal on the Water" is a book that reminds you that joy and sorrow are inextricably entwined, that one means less without the other. What would you do if you were Mary, or Cobb? This luminescent story will never leave you. I adored it." --Dorothea Benton Frank ""Eternal on the Water" is more than a heartfelt love story. It is a beautiful and searching exploration of the meaning of commitment and the majesty of nature, told in the strong, clear voice of a true believer. In these pages, there is much to learn of life, death, love and healing. It's a book to savor and then to share." --Susan Wiggs, "NYT" bestselling author of "Just Breathe" and "Lakeshore Christmas" Praise for "The World as We Know It" "Ask yourself when the last time it was that you read a book so beautiful and agonizing that it made you cry for joy and sorrow. "The World As We Know It" does that." --"Bookreporter" "Monninger has homed in on the beauty and cruelty of the natural world in this gripping and moving story of loss and understanding. Readers ... will revel in Monninger's warm and graceful descriptions of rural New Hampshire and his adept understanding of the landscape of human relationships." --"Booklist" "Joe Monninger beautifully captures the essence of childhood adventure and the sweet innocence of falling in love for the first time. Fans of John Irving, you have a new author to love." --Lisa Genova, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Still Alice" and "Left Neglected" "Joseph Monninger's"Eternal on the Water"is a compelling and poignant love story. His two characters, both strong and independent, meet by chance in the Maine wilderness and find in each other the depth of connection they have been searching for and the confrontation with mortality they have been dreading all their lives. Their celebration of life and their emotional parting will touch you deeply and move you to tears." --Selden Edwards, author of "The Little Book" Praise for "The World as We Know It" "Ask yourself when the last time it was that you read a book so beautiful and agonizing that it made you cry for joy and sorrow. "The World As We Know It" does that." --"Bookreporter" "Monninger has homed in on the beauty and cruelty of the natural world in this gripping and moving story of loss and understanding. Readers ... will revel in Monninger's warm and graceful descriptions of rural New Hampshire and his adept understanding of the landscape of human relationships." --"Booklist" "Joe Monninger beautifully captures the essence of childhood adventure and the sweet innocence of falling in love for the first time. Fans of John Irving, you have a new author to love." --Lisa Genova, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Still Alice" and "Left Neglected"show more

Rating details

1,703 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 37% (638)
4 34% (576)
3 20% (339)
2 7% (122)
1 2% (28)

Our customer reviews

From the beginning we know how this is going to end but that only made me want to read the book even more. I really was shocked and surprised by the final events, but i suppose this is natural. Both Mary and Cobb are very interesing and strong characters and the outdoors descriptions are just splendid, it almost feels like you're in the middle of the landscapes. I really liked the fact that the author added some animal stories and legends in the book. I like animals a lot and i really enjoyed them. They are brilliant and I really think they are very important for the story. Overall its a very sad love story but Mary is a very strong woman and they way she assumes her condition is very impressive. I would recommend this book to everyone, but be prepared to cry and have tons of handkerchief within reach.show more
by ambika
Eternal on the Water opens with a tragedy and then takes us to the start of a beautiful and unusual love story. From the start we know that this isn\'t the usual boy meets girl love story, but as we learn more about Mary and Cobb we appreciate just how different these lovers are. Mary and Cobb take us with them as they explore unsullied nature and the power of solitude. Solitude, friendship, and the very best of companionship give the story special insight and power. Review copy provided by the Barnes & Noble First Look Book Club.show more
by Gaby @ Starting Fresh
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