On the Water

On the Water
On the Water By H. M. (Hans Maarten) van den Brink; Read May 2010

This book—in a word—is a surprise.

Not just one but a few actually. First would be it relied heavily on rowing, a sport that I’m not that familiar with. Unless you count the nursery rhyme but I doubt that. Well, yes, I could imagine the team’s difficulties and the personal concerns but only to a degree.

Somehow I find it funny that, for an island country like ours, we’re not that big on rowing. That or there isn’t publicized as much as say basketball or soccer.

Another thing, this is a pre-war story. And that appeals to me since I could feel the emphasis of the calm before the storm. But in this story, there’s no WW2. There’s the before and some of the after yet no during. And that I don’t get. But I let it slide, since it doesn’t really mess up the narrative. And it’s not like there’s anything really missing.

I could be wrong about this but there’s something bromantic about Anton and David’s story. And will leave it at that.

Helplessly, I compared this with John Knowles’ A Separate Peace since Anton and David remind me of Finny and Gene, though in a relatively less-closer degree. Could you blame me? There are some similarities: two boys, sports at school, an impending war, and a tested friendship.

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