Eternal On the Water by Joseph Monninger
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Pocket; Original edition (February 16, 2010)
First of all I would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Anneliese at Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me this book to review!
Eternal on the Water is a love story. It is a beautifully told tale of a man, Jonathan Cobb, who meets the love of his life while embarking on a trip of a lifetime; kayaking Maine's Allagash River retracing the steps of author Henry David Thoreau.
There are several reasons why I really liked this story. For one thing, the way that Cobb and Mary meet and fall in love is very realistic. Now that being said I should add that my husband and I met in very much the same way, and we fell in love in a matter of hours, and eloped only 8 months later. But I digress... The prologue, which I will not summarize so as not to spoil it for you, is very enticing, and keeps you reading so you can figure out just what exactly happened there.
Here is the summary from the jacket:
From the day Cobb and Mary meet kayaking on Maine's Allagash River and fall deeply in love, the two approach life with the same sense of adventure they use to conquer the river's treacherous rapids. But rivers do not let go so easily...and neither does their love. So when Mary's life takes the cruelest turn, she vows to face those rough waters on her own terms and asks Cobb to promise, when the time comes, to help her return to their beloved river for one final journey.
Set against the rugged wilderness of Maine, the exotic islands of Indonesia, the sweeping panoramas of Yellowstone National Park, and the tranquil villages of rural New England, Eternal on the Water is at once heartbreaking and uplifting -- a timeless, beautifully rendered story of true love's power.
Monninger has a great way of setting the scene. You can really feel, see, hear and smell exactly where they are in the story. And considering that the setting is in Maine and then later Indonesia? You can't go wrong on atmosphere. There were a few sections in the middle which were a bit draggy, but these were very few, so hardly worth mentioning, but I do because they were... you follow me?
This was a very relaxing and heartfelt read, with a gentle story that pulls you along and leaves you with melancholy feeling... the best kind of melancholy. It begs to ask- what would you do for someone you love? What would I do, indeed.