From the book jacket
: In her much-anticipated new
novel, Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees
) has woven a transcendent tale that will thrill her legion of fans and cement her reputation as one of the most remarkable writers at work today.
Inside the abbey of a Benedictine monastery on tiny 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. Jessie Sullivan's conventional life has been "molded to
the smallest space possible." So when she is called home to cope with her
mother's startling and enigmatic act of violence, Jessie finds herself relieved
to be apart from her husband, Hugh. Jessie loves Hugh, but on Egret Islandamid
the gorgeous marshlands and tidal creeksshe becomes...
Beyond the Book
Kidd was born and raised in the tiny town of Sylvester, Georgia. Her writing
has been deeply influenced by place, and she mined her experiences of growing up
in Sylvester when she wrote she mined her experiences of growing up
in Sylvester when she wrote teachers, who described her
as a 'born writer', she detoured into nursing ('partly due to a failure of
courage and partly due to the cultural climate of the South in 1966') during her
twenties. However, in her thirties (now with a husband and two children)
she felt the pull to return to writing and enrolled in a writing class.
One of her personal essays written for class was published in
Guideposts Magazine and reprinted in
Readers Digest, and thus began her career as a writer of personal...