Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review: Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger

My first thought on seeing the wolves....--was that I had never imagined a wolf properly. It was an odd thought, but it made sense to me. A wolf is not the wolf of your dreams, I realized. They looked much more canine, for one thing, and more wild in the same breath.

Eternal on the Water is in some ways a simple story. It's a simple story about two people who are lucky enough to find each other (a little later in life than normal), to know that they are absolutely meant to be together, who build a life together, who share the beauty of nature, and living life to the fullest together. It is not terribly unique in that regard, and yet I loved this book. When I first started reading it, I wondered if I would like it, but I found myself constantly wanting to pick it back up. It's not that a whole lot happens in the book at a rapid pace, it's that the characters are so unique and loveable, that I came to genuinely care about their journey and enjoy that their simple exchanges brought me joy, in this way the book felt like it was about the very best of humanity.

Jonathan Cobb meets Mary Fury almost by chance when he is on a writing trip. They spend some together in the woods of Maine when they feel love at first sight, they get to know each other. But Cobb soon learns that Mary is carrying a burden that allows her to embrace life to its fullest, she believes she may have Huntington's Disease. She has never been tested, because she doesn't want to give the disease that room in her life. But she allows herself to be tested when Cobb wants to get seriously and permanently involved.

I think you can guess the result.

But the book isn't about that, not really. Eternal on the Water is a love story. It's an optimistic, hopeful, love story. It's a love story between a man and a woman and people and life, and people and nature, and I was surprised by just how taken I was with it. It's a touching story, but it's also the kind of book that made me feel like I should be embracing life more. And I really can't say anything bad about that.

I'm can't say that everyone would like this, but for me it was the perfect read at the perfect time. I'm a sucker for books that are about people coming together and building something new and beautiful and healing together (without being ridiculously sentimental). If you like that, you might like this, too.

Rating: 4.5/5
Things You Might Want to Know: some sex maybe some language I can't remember
Source of Book: Review copy provided by publisher
Publisher: Gallery Books (Simon and Schuster)


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