Summary and Analysis Moving Water



Allie arrives around noon and greets Noah with a kiss on the cheek. Eager for the surprise, Allie immediately demands to know where it is. Noah tells her that it is about a mile up the river but is concerned that with the impending rain she might get wet. Undaunted, Allie decides to risk getting wet in order to see the someplace special.

While canoeing to the special place, Allie asks Noah what he most remembers from their summer together, and he replies "All of it." His explanation reveals that he is not being coy but rather that summer had such a profound impact on his life that there is no way to possibly favor one aspect over another. Allie is stunned and moved by the sincerity and depth of Noah's reply. She compares the relationship she has with Lon, realizing that she does love her fiancé, just not the same way that she loves Noah.


The significance of the chapter title is that the words have both literal and metaphorical interpretations. The literal moving water refers to the creek water and the falling rain. The metaphorical water is the renewal of their relationship, water symbolizing rebirth, new life, and a cleansing. The rain also foreshadows the storm their relationship is going to face.

When explaining his answer to Allie's question about his summer memories, Noah describes love "as an emotion that we can't control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense." For him, this describes both their summer of love and the nature of their relationship.

The mentioning of T.S. Eliot reveals yet another side of Noah's character. As a poet, Eliot is more abstract and intellectual than Whitman. Eliot's most famous poem is the epic The Waste Land, which could be a veiled reference to the state of Noah's emotional well being. An important aspect of Noah and Allie's relationship is made clear when readers learn that Lon did not understand Allie's abstract painting. Lon clearly does not understand the depths of Allie's passion and soul, whereas, Noah encourages Allie to develop her own gifts and passions. This demonstrates that Noah has a connection with and an understanding of Allie as a person and an artist, a connection and understanding that is currently missing in Allie's life.

The chapter ends with suspense and anticipation: What is it that Noah wants to show Allie? And what effect will it have on their reunion?


Osprey a large hawk, also known as a fish hawk

Mullet a cylindrical, gray fish, also known as a goatfish