The Mermaid Chair

The Mermaid Chair

Paperback

By (author) Sue Monk Kidd

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Format: Paperback | 335 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 22mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 7 March 2006
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0143036696
  • ISBN 13: 9780143036692
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 191,798

Product description

The "New York Times"-bestselling second novel by the author of "The Secret Life of Bees" and "The Invention of Wings" (Viking, January 2014) Inside the church of a Benedictine monastery on Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion. When Jessie Sullivan is summoned home to the island to cope with her eccentric mother's seemingly inexplicable behavior, she is living a conventional life with her husband, Hugh, a life "molded to the smallest space possible." Jessie loves Hugh, but once on the island, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk about to take his final vows. Amid a rich community of unforgettable island women and the exotic beauty of marshlands, tidal creeks, and majestic egrets, Jessie grapples with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, with a freedom that feels overwhelmingly right and the immutable force of home and marriage. Is the power of the mermaid chair only a myth? Or will it alter the course of Jessie's life? What happens will unlock the roots of her mother's tormented past, but most of all, it will allow Jessie to comes discover selfhood and a place of belonging as she explores the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic.

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Author information

SUE MONK KIDD is the author of the novels, "The Secret Life of Bees" and "The Mermaid Chair," and the memoirs, "The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, When the Heart Waits," and "Firstlight," a collection of early writings. "The Secret Life of Bees" has spent more than 125 weeks on the "New York Times" bestseller list and was adapted into an award-winning movie. "The Mermaid Chair," a #1 New York Times bestseller, was adapted into a television movie. Each of her novels has been translated into more than 24 languages. The recipient of numerous literary awards, Sue lives in South Carolina with her husband.

Review quote

"Book clubs, start your engines. Sue Monk Kidd''s first novel, "The Secret Life of Bees," has sold 3 million copies since 2002....Those are big shoes to fill, but Kidd acquits herself admirably with "The Mermaid Chair."...Both novels drip with vivid images of hot Southern afternoons, droning insects, swooping birds and oases in which nature is the fabric of life. It is a tapestry strengthened by bonds between women that bridge pain and loss. Most important, both have passages of beautiful writing... Kidd wrote two well-received memoirs before turning to fiction. But perhaps the answer ultimately given by "The Mermaid Chair" is that a storyteller also can change course and come of age in the middle of her life."--USA Today "Her writing is so smart and sharp, she gives new life to old midlife crises, and she draws connections from the feminine to the divine to the erotic that a lesser writer wouldn''t see, and might not have the guts to follow."--Time "(A) rewarding second novel by the author of the bestselling "Secret Life of Bees." Writing from the perspective of conflicted, discontented Jessie, Kidd achieves a bold intensity and complexity that wasn''t possible in "The Secret Life of Bees," narrated by teenage Lily. Jessie''s efforts to cope with marital stagnation; Whit''s crisisof faith; and Nelle''s tormented reckoning with the past will resonate with many readers. This emotionally rich novel, full of sultry, magical descriptions of life in the South, is sure to be another hit for Kidd." --Publisher''s Weekly, starred review "Compelling reading.... The writing is soulful in its probing of the human heart and family secrets."--The San Francisco Chronicle "Secrets are told. Mysteries are revealed. In one rich and satisfying gush..., Jessie reevaluates just about every aspect of her life: her husband, her lover, her mother, her artwork, the death of her father decades ago, and most of all herself... Reward