Saturday, September 11, 2010

SM5S: Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monniger

A fun way to add variety to review formats this meme was created by Alipet at That's A Novel Idea.

Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here has the Mr Linky each week so we can share our posts .


1 Book I Read:   Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monniger

2 Words that describe the book: Something Special

3 settings and/or characters I met:
  • Contemporary love story set in America and Thailand -  moving between the rugged wilderness of Maine, the exotic islands of Indonesia and the majestic panoramas of Yellowstone Park.
  • Jonathan Cobb is a school teacher who has taken sabbatical leave in order to retrace Thoreau's historic 92-mile journey along the Allagash Waterway by kayak. Before beginning his journey he plans to spend the night in a camping area and it is there he meets.......
  • Mary Fury - biologist and outdoors girl, and the attraction between them is immediate.
We are the Chungamunga girls and we are
eternal on this water
The Chungamunga girls are a group of specially selected preteen girls who every year share a month of outdoors adventure on the Allagash. Mary is an ex-Chungamunga girl and she has come to add her expertise to their experience.

4 things I liked/disliked about the book:
  • I loved the wilderness background. It's obvious the author knows the places he's writing about very well and his descriptive prose is simple, evocative and very beautiful. Nature with it's continuing cycles of life,death,rebirth is the perfect background for a story that is so much about living each day to the fullest.
  • The central love story is also very beautiful and very moving ( tissues required)  - I'm not really a love story reader but this is not romantic fluff and I found it easy to become emotionally involved with Mary and Jonathan as they faced the difficulties and choices of their relationship. But it's not only about the love of two people - it's about love between family and friends, love of nature and animals, love of life itself.
  • Mary's special field is birds, particularly crows, ravens and magpies. Woven into the story are wonderful anecdotes, mythical legends and folktales about these birds which I really liked. It added a  magical touch.
  • There is a great deal of symbolism if you look for it which is a subject I have an interest in. The birds, bears and wolves and in particular circle symbolism is everywhere. The prologue which is also an epilogue - doesn't always work but in this case it did for me. The knowledge given adds a poignancy to the story and a wish that it didn't have to end. Even the final chapter is numbered 19 - the first and the last , the beginning and the end, which is not really an end because a circle has none.
5 Stars or less for my rating:

I am giving Eternal on the Water 4.5 Stars....................I loved it and I know it will come to mind whenever I think of my favourite books for this year. I wholeheartedly recommend it.


  1. I have this book. I need to read it. Good to know that you liked it and that you highly recommend it. A tear jerker...I have heard, and I am warned.

    I like this review format. I think I should do this type of review for some of my books.

  2. It sounds absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to read it. Nice review.
    I don't have a Show Me 5 review this week.

  3. Deanna - yes, a tear jerker but worth it. I find I get more reviews done when I aim for doing SM5S each week.

    Mary read. I know you'll love it!

  4. Beautiful review. Sounds like a wonderful book and the cover is just gorgeous. glad you enjoyed it, Cat.

  5. Something Special, I like that. Another I haven't heard of.

  6. I like your two word description! I've seen other reviews of this book and it does seem to be well loved by many. I like a good cry every so often ... I'll keep this in mind when I'm feeling like I need a good romantic tearjerker.

  7. I loved this one too, beautiful read, needed a box of tissues!