The luminous new novel from the author of the phenomenal bestseller The Secret Life of Bees.
Sue Monk Kidds stunning debut, The Secret Life of Bees, has
transformed her into a genuine literary star. Now, in her much-anticipated new
novel, Kidd 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 Sullivans conventional life has been "molded to
the smallest space possible." So when she is called home to cope with her
mothers 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 drawn to Brother Thomas, a
monk who is mere months from taking his final vows. What transpires will unlock
the roots of her mothers tormented past, but most of all, as Jessie grapples
with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, she will find a freedom
that feels overwhelmingly right.
What inspires the yearning for a soul mate? Few writers have explored, as
Kidd does, the lush, unknown region of the feminine soul where the thin line
between the spiritual and the erotic exists. The Mermaid Chair is a vividly
imagined novel about the passions of the spirit and the ecstasies of the body;
one that illuminates a womans self-awakening with the brilliance and power that
only a writer of Kidds ability could conjure.
Book Page Magazine
Fans of Sue Monk Kidd's best-selling debut novel, The Secret Life of Bees, will be equally enamored with her beguiling sophomore effort....Reconciling the spiritual with the human, The Mermaid Chair is a captivating metaphorical and sensual journey into one woman's soul. Weaving enduring folklore about the seductive and transformative power of mermaids into a modern-day tale of rebirth, the novel shows us that sometimes we need to swim out to sea for the currents to carry us back home."
Bestselling Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees (2002) has a gift for language, but the saccharine aftertaste won't go away.
Booklist - Kristine Huntley
Kidd's second offering is just as gracefully written as her first and possesses an equally compelling story. It should appeal to the many readers who made her first novel a hit with book clubs.
Starred Review. This emotionally rich novel, full of sultry, magical descriptions of life in the South, is sure to be another hit for Kidd.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Cloggie Downunder a memorable read The Mermaid Chair is the second novel by Sue Monk Kidd. Set on the South Carolina barrier island of Egret, it describes three intense months that change the life of 42-year-old Jessie Sullivan when she returns to her childhood home.... Read More
Rated of 5
by Bonnie The Uncomfortable Mermaid Chair This book came highly recommended by two women working in the book store where I bought it and, as I'm always looking for new authors to read, I took a chance. My money was not well spent.
Usually Penguin is a reliable label, but I'm shocked... Read More
Rated of 5
by Ali Memory Keeper's Daughter I loved reading this book. I though it rich in symbolism (the way photography was used to capture the past - his being so complex, yet Carolines's being so simple and authentic). Life can be complicated and I feel that the author did a great job... Read More
Rated of 5
by Brian Deneault Sue Monk Kidd's Harlequin Romance The Mermaid Chair reads like a Harlequin Romance, hack-kneed, predictable, trite. I would wager that Kidd was offered at least a two-book deal when she submitted the wonderful Secret Life of Bees but she really couldn't come up with any great ideas... Read More
Rated of 5
by Melissa Be True to Yourself Our book club enjoyed reading and discussing this book immensely. It touched each of us in one way or another. Our discussions centered around one of the many book's themes: that one must be true to themselves to be happy, to be loved and to love... Read More
Rated of 5
by Mary Excellent imagery Sue Monk Kidd is excellent at weaving a plot that draws you into the lives of her characters. You are immediately drawn into the lives of both the main character and her mother and friends.
Overall, I would (and have recommended) this book to... Read More
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 experience
articles with an inspirational bent, publishing several hundred articles, mainly
in Guideposts Magazine.
Her first book was a spiritual memoir published in 1988, followed by a book on
feminist theology, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter (1996). In
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...