Customer Reviews for

Eternal on the Water

Average Rating 4
( 179 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(73)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A Glimpse of the Eternal

This is an excellent book. The characters are interesting, the plot a real tear jerker, but what is most important for me is the beautiful writing. Monninger brings his natural settings to life. The emotion evoked by the power of his writing about nature is what drives ...
This is an excellent book. The characters are interesting, the plot a real tear jerker, but what is most important for me is the beautiful writing. Monninger brings his natural settings to life. The emotion evoked by the power of his writing about nature is what drives the story for me.

Deciding to set this tragic love story in such beautiful, yet harsh places make the theme obvious. The world is beautiful and terrible at the same time. We have to appreciate the beauty and live to the fullest with the tragedy and cruelty.

I highly recommend this book. It's not an escapist fantasy. It says something about honor and living a productive life.

posted by nfam on January 25, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Not so eternal per this reader

Although I really wanted to love this book, I am sad to say that it just didn't happen for me. Love at first sight may be a very real thing, and based on most readers reviewing the book, it is evident that I am in the minority. I knew it would be a tear jerker and I w...
Although I really wanted to love this book, I am sad to say that it just didn't happen for me. Love at first sight may be a very real thing, and based on most readers reviewing the book, it is evident that I am in the minority. I knew it would be a tear jerker and I wanted to be swept away, but the author just did not draw me in.

Here's what I really liked about the book:
1. Stories about crows and raven mythology
2. A very positive portrayal of the value of assisted suicide

Here's what I did not like:
1. Characters, settings and situations were not believable for me - too perfect.
2. The writing was not challenging for me - the author often writes for young adults, and I felt the vocabulary and style would have been great for that audience.
3. In the first few pages I knew the death of our heroine would occur before the end of the book, and I felt it was a slow, tedious journey getting to that point.

The book Love Story kept echoing in my mind, but then Segal also wrote a very popular book that was not well received by the critics. This book may have the same appeal, which means it could be something you will totally enjoy. But to describe it as a major literary achievement with eternal lasting qualities might be quite a stretch.

posted by JaneM on January 26, 2010

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    Great book!

    If you are looking for a great book to read, this would be the one. It is both entertaining and heart-warming but there is also sadness in this book. It is a love story that is not your typical love story. It has sacrifices and tenderness. I absolutely would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good book for a book club

    Posted 2/1/2010: At first I didn't believe that I would enjoy it...Wrong!! It was great. I got attached to the characters and saw myself in Cobb. The story plot was not only about the main character Mary but included many others that made the story like a family. Every time I see a crow I think of this story and love. I like the way the author tied everyone together at the end. I loved it and would read another by the author.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    So glad I read this book!

    I was able to read an ARC of this book and I am very glad that I did.

    I knew from the first chapter how the story was going to end but that drew me into the story to find out why it ended that way and to find out more about these 2 wonderful characters that I had been introduced to. Actually all of the characters were very enjoyable and memorable - very good character development by the author.

    I especially loved all the stories about the girls camp, the bears and the crows. How enchanting! The love story was very sweet and at times it was a little unbelievable that these 2 people could be so perfect and so perfect for each other. But I know that there are people and relationships like theirs out there so it is possible.

    I will recommend this book to my friends who love a good love story and who enjoy reading books with nature settings. This book was very relaxing and I felt like I was out in nature with the characters!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A commentary on life and beauty

    I read this book with great interest because it is set partially in Maine.
    I found the sense of place to be very strong in each of the sections of the book and I enjoyed the characters' interactions in each place.
    Certainly the book is a love story, but it is so much more. The issue of the reverance for life in all circumstances is explored, as is the idea of the uniqueness of each individual.
    I read this book as a part of Barnes and Noble's First Look Book Club and certainly appreciate that opportunity. I will recommend it to friends.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    Yeti Love is True Love at it's Best.

    This book was amazing: it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me believe in love and finding my Yeti. Monninger has a true story tellar's gift and I look forward to seeing what else he publishes in the future.

    I can't say how much I enjoyed this novel and I have already begun to recommend it to others.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Eternal On The Water

    As this is my first participation in the First Look Book Club, I wasn't sure what to expect in the beginning. I should say that I'm thankful for being able to have a 'First Look' at this book. Eternal on the Water is a wonderful book; author Joseph Monninger does a wonderful job of illustrating the love between the main characters Mary and Cobb. Although I was initially put off by reading the ending first, I advise new readers to not let this bother you. I encourage you to keep reading, like I did, and not lose interest simply because you know what ultimately happens in the end within the first few pages of the book. You will not be disappointed in this book.

    All aspects of the story were well illustrated as Mr. Monninger provided great detail of nature, characters, lives, experiences, etc. The characters were brought to life and well played, making it easy for the reader to remain interested in the story. Although the storyline may have seemed to be 'too perfect' at different times, I believe that the author was was simply depicting that love can occur at any given time. Two people may fall in love with each other, without specifically seeking love. Through his descriptions of Mary's condition and situations her and the other characters come across, it is easily conveyed that, although love is meant to be a pleasant experience, it can also be heartbreaking at the same time, but still be love!

    In knowing the ending from the start, you know there are bound to be spots in the story that are sad to read, but the adventure behind the story makes it worthwhile. Be prepared to fully engulf yourself in the lives of Mary, Cobb, and their friends (both new and old) as they take you through, not only their adventures, but their relationship as well.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2010

    Touching Love Story

    This book is a moving story of love and loss. The main characters Mary and Cobb meet by chance, but seem fated to be together. The beginning of the story really grabbed my attention and I loved the way the author told the story of Mary's and Cobb's unfolding relationship. Cobb was my favorite character and the author does a great job in showing how Cobb's personality changed as a result of being with Mary. I did think that the ending was a little too over-dramatic, but overall this was a sad, but uplifting story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2010

    A touching, quirky, thoughtful book

    Even if you don't believe in love at first sight you will soon find yourself captivated by the unique chartacters and entranced by the beautiful settings described in this book. What would you do if you could find out if you would die of a terrible disease? How you would choose to live out your life? How would you handle relationships knowing your time could be limited? This book takes you on a journey with a character who has made choices to live life to the fullest despite her impending death. If you love nature, travel and are a bit of a dreamer, this is the book for you. I found it very serene, diverse, a little quirky and touching.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    A wonderfully touching and appealing love story

    Joseph Monninger strikes a balance in crafting this tale of love and loss. His connection to the natural world is apparent from the start and his ability to describe the beautiful landscapes of Maine in fall, Yellowstone in summer and Indonesia in winter bring the story to life.

    The language, especially the dialogue, is somewhat monotone. Everyone gets along so well in the story, there's no conflict or discord to make the complications of character development more compelling. The style used in the telling of folk tales throughout the novel is well-conceived and delightful.

    If you like stories such as "Love Story" or "The English Patient," I recommend this book to you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Eternally Beautiful

    I feel very privileged to have read Eternal on the Water as a First Look reader with the Barnes & Noble Book Club. This is a story that is both heartbreaking and uplifting.

    Mary and Cobb are two teachers who meet while kayaking on the Allagash River in Maine. They quickly discover that they are soul mates and the ensuing love story is both poignantly written and thought provoking. Their love of nature, and each other, remains a tale of hope and loyalty even while living under the shadow of a devastating disease. They are characters that will remain in my memory for quite a while.

    Joseph Monninger has written a novel that is life-affirming. His special message to the reader is to live everyday to it's fullest.something that we would all benefit from remembering.

    If you are not a believer in "love at first sight" you will be after reading this wonderful novel. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the outdoors or just loves a great love story but be warned, you will not have a dry eye in the end!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

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    Really made me think...

    I thought the book was excellent. At first I was weary as to how it began but the characters really involve you. They just draw you in. You must read but be ready to have tissues near by.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Eternally readable

    I was privileged to have read Eternal on the Water as a First Look Book with the Barnes & Noble Book Club. I was not sure that I was going to enjoy the book, but I kept at it and was glad I did. Mary and Cobb are two teachers who meet while kayaking on the Allagash River in Maine. Monninger writes with terrific imagery, and is poignantly written and thought provoking.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

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    Eternal on the Water

    This is a good book. I enjoyed the settings and the characters. It is always interesting when the setting becomes a character in a book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Surprising and touching

    At first I was not sure I would like this book. I thought that it would be a sad story that would leave me depressed in the end. But that was not at all the case. This is a tragic story, but it is not a sad story. Instead it is the celebration of life and love in the face of, what we all will go though at some point, the loss of a love one. I loved this book. It is beautiful and touching, and the characters are engaging. I would recommend for a long lazy weekend, or a cold winter evening. It is definitely a book worth savoring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2010

    Great Rainy Sunday Read

    Characters were well developed, even minor characters. I felt like the characters stayed true to themselves throughout. This is Mr. Monninger's strength. We really care about these people. I enjoyed the settings and storyline immensely. I didn't find it as much of a tear-jerker, but we know from the beginning how it will end.
    The topic of disease and death were gracefully handled. This is a book I would recommend, especially to bookclubs. Lots of discussion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2010

    Eternal On the Water

    Eternal on the Water was an entertaining and touching story with out being overly sappy. Although we are told at the opening that it ends tragically the characters and settings kept my interest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2010

    Eternal on the Water

    I thought I was going to have a hard time finishing this book but I just finished the first eight chapters and have definately changed my mind. I am very interested and look forward to going to Indonesia with Cobb & Mary.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Eternal on the Water

    Cobb and Mary. From the second they meet each other they know they are destined to be together. They really are quite perfect to each other; both teachers, both passionate about something and at the moment they meet, both going to the same direction.

    The story begins by foreshadowing what is going to happen in the end; Mary is going to die. Cobb starts to tell the story about their love to a ranger and that way the reader gets to know the story as well. I really liked the way Monninger starts up this book. All the way from the beginning I knew that the end of the book would be sad but also filled with love.

    The language Monninger made me speechless at some points, it felt like I was reading poetry. The beautiful descriptions of landscape and the feelings between Mary and Cobb really bring the place the book is taking a place alive and emphasize the love between the two main characters.

    With Cobb and Mary, the reader gets a change to travel to New Hampshire, Maine, Yellow Stone National park and Indonesia. All these different places somehow represent the stages of Mary and Cobb's relationship.

    I really enjoyed Eternal on the Water. The story is really beautiful, as I said before, and that author has really done his research is writing this. The only minus I could say is the total perfection of the character, especially Cobb. That made the story a bit unrealistic. But we have to consider the fact that Cobb is telling the story right after Mary's death so probably he does not want to think about the bad things and just tells the wonderful things in their relationship.

    The ones who love Nicholas Sparks should definitely check this book out!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger is touching and filled with fascinating animal lore stories.

    The characters are unique and will stay with you long after finishing this sad but inspiring story. Mr. Mottinger truly leaves the reader with a mystical feeling that life and nature are eternal.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2010

    Might be a good Book Club choice..

    I am glad to have had the opportunity to read this book. As I read the first chapter, I felt like this book was going to be too "sappy" for me. Love at first site, instant connection, I was afraid it was going to be just another fairytale love story which is not my type of read. I'm glad I didn't give up though. This book and the storyline became much more involved and thought provoking. There are ethical dilemmas to contemplate and I thought the character development was good. The side stories regarding Ravens and their history and mythololgy was very interesting and I really enjoyed that. I also liked the concept of the Chungamunga girls. Overall, an enjoyable read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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