Eternal On The Water – Joseph Monninger

What a breathtaking novel.

Have you ever just went on with what you were doing concentrating on that one task when all of a sudden you look around and focus in on one person of the opposite sex that you cannot take you eyes off of, like it will be the last thing that depends on the rest of your life?

Cobb was doing exactly that, minding his own business traveling to a river when he noticed Mary.  Not just any girl, as he found out later.  He found the love of his life.

Cobb is taking a short sabbatical from his teaching job at a prestigious private school to do two things.  Kayak the river, and follow the same route that Thoreau once did.  He is writing a paper on him.  He doesn’t expect anything that will change his life forever like it does this trip.

The novel starts as Cobb is being questioned by police after a kayak is found and his wife’s body is found not far from it.  The story starts as just about as ugly as it could get, being questioned by police about the accident that your wife was found dead from.  But this is far from the story.

His wife has a debilitating disease….

As Cobb talks about his whirlwind romance to one of the Rangers that is assisting in the investigation, you are lead as he leads the ranger into a deep and breadth of this love that not many experience in their lifetimes.  A love that was instantaneous, deep, powerful, demanding, happening so fast, that the planets with all of their separate actions were all in alignment at that one moment where sparks flew, where these two people were destined to meet at the beginning of a river trip separately, and at the end of it starting a new life together at the end of it.

The book ask some important questions, in between the universe all in alignment. If by some chance, you had found the love of your life, would it matter if they knew or if you knew that they were to become afflicted with a life threatening disease?  Would you cut your losses then, or would you stand by that person no matter what it took – money, faith, determination, no matter what the consequence? Would you want to know that they may have or not have this life threatening disease such as Huntington’s or ALS that will slowly take away everything that you can do today within a matter of years to leave you not even being able to think or do much for yourself?

Heartbreaking, emotional, full of that perfect life, even if it means giving something up that was aligned by the planets and the stars, by destiny if you will, will have you crying for them but also have you thinking about your own life.  Full of the emotional breadth and ripples as the river moves with its current.

Just Brilliant.

Simon and Schuster

Joseph’s Website

Reading Group Guide

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