Lynda's Reviews > Eternal on the Water

Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger
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's review
Feb 02, 2010

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Read in February, 2010

I'm really torn when reviewing this novel because it certainly has the potential to be amazing but in a couple of areas I believed it fell a little short.

First of all, there is the tragic story told in the prologue. It reveals the ending and the reader is drawn into the story to determine the specifics regarding the death. A clever device because it invests the reader immediatly otherwise there is little pizzazz to keep the reader interested. Secondly, there is Mary. She is too perfect and perhaps it is because the story is told from her husbands perspective and he simply loves her beyond compare. Everybody loves her, everybody appeases her every whim regardless of how ridiculous. To this reader she was on the verge of becoming a very self-centered and selfish individual. Lastly, there are way too many moments that are simply unbelievable. Too many moments that are too co-incidental to be believed.

Now, on the contrary, Monninger's writing is as fluid as the waters of the Allagash River where much of the story unfolds. His prose is liquid and flows effortlessly from scene to scene. Especially memorable are his depictions of the places traveled to in the novel. The northern country of Maine, Yellowstone National Park and the tropical island of Gili Trawangan in Indonesia are lovingly brought to life by Monninger's simple yet detailed portrayal. Be warned that the subject matter in this novel touches upon assisted suicide and a life threatening illness yet, again, Monninger handles this with aplomb.

Overall, an OK story, told in a gentle manner. By far the most memorable portions of the book are the places Monninger will take you. Thanks to Barnes and Nobles First Look Book Club for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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