Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Eternal on the Water" by Joseph Monninger


"You don't value a fire any less because someday it will go out." pg. 152

From the beginning of this book, we know that Mary will die. But this is not a book about her death. It is a book about living each day to its fullest - celebrating your life. It is also a book that will introduce you to Huntington's Disease.

Mary and Cobb, both educators, meet as each prepares for a trip on the Allagash River. Cobb is a first-timer, here to research Thoreau. Mary is back for a regular trip. The connection they feel is immediate and intense. It is truly love at first sight. As they journey down the Allagash, Mary educates Cobb about her study of Corvids (crows and ravens) and relates much of the mythology around them. He also meets the Chungamunga girls, of which Mary is a part. Each girl is threatened with a life-ending disease, but given the opportunity of spending some extended time on the Allagash. It is a moving journey. How many of them want to know they are on limited time, and how many want to live life without that clock ticking?

Then, Mary and Cobb come together in Indonesia. Here we meet Turtle Freddy and read of his work to save the sea turtles. The descriptions of people, places, and animals is breathtaking and realistic.

There are many interesting characters in this book, (Francis, Annie & John, Wally, Joan, Myrtle, etc.) each writing a part of Mary's story. Come, take a journey with them down the Allagash, to Indonesia, to New England, and the West Coast. This story will make you think about living each moment fully and completely.

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