Fiction Sue Monk Kidd The Mermaid Chair

ISBN 13: 9780755307630

The Mermaid Chair

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9780755307630: The Mermaid Chair

Sue Monk Kidd┬’s 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 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 Island┬— amid the gorgeous marshlands and tidal creeks┬—she becomes drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk who is mere months from taking his final vows. What transpires will unlock the roots of her mother┬’s 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 woman┬’s self-awakening with the brilliance and power that only a writer of Kidd┬’s ability could conjure.

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Review:

Sue Monk Kidd's The Mermaid Chair is the soulful tale of Jessie Sullivan, a middle-aged woman whose stifled dreams and desires take shape during an extended stay on Egret Island, where she is caring for her troubled mother, Nelle. Like Kidd's stunning debut novel, The Secret Life of Bees, her highly anticipated follow up evokes the same magical sense of whimsy and poignancy.

While Kidd places an obvious importance on the role of mysticism and legend in this tale, including the mysterious mermaid's chair at the center of the island's history, the relationships between characters is what gives this novel its true weight. Once she returns to her childhood home, Jessie is forced to confront not only her relationship with her estranged mother, but her other emotional ties as well. After decades of marriage to Hugh, her practical yet conventional husband, Jessie starts to question whether she is craving an independence she never had the chance to experience. After she meets Brother Thomas, a handsome monk who has yet to take his final vows, Jessie is forced to decide whether passion can coexist with comfort, or if the two are mutually exclusive. As her soul begins to reawaken, Jessie must also confront the circumstances of her father's death, a tragedy that continues to haunt Jessie and Nelle over thirty years later.

By boldly tackling such major themes as love, betrayal, grief, and forgiveness, The Mermaid Chair forces readers to question whether moral issues can always be interpreted in black or white. It is this ability to so gracefully present multiple sides of a story that reinforces Kidd's reputation as a well-respected modern literary voice. --Gisele Toueg

From the Back Cover:

"Book clubs, start your engines. . . . [The Mermaid Chair] is a tapestry strengthened by bonds between women that bridge pain and loss."
—USA Today

"The pages all but turn themselves."
—Parade

"Soulful in its probing of the human heart."
—San Francisco Chronicle

"Kidd 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

"It’s hard to put this book down for things like eating and sleeping."
—Elle

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Book Description Headline Publishing Group, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. THE MERMAID CHAIR is a No. 1 New York Times bestseller from Sue Monk Kidd: Highly charged.full of sexual and spiritual desire. Every bit as moving and convincing as The Secret Life of Bees Mirror In her forties, and married for half her life, Jessie Sullivan honestly believes that she is happy. She has a lovely home, a dependable husband and an accomplished and adored teenage daughter. But when shocking news about her mother compels Jessie to visit the island where she grew up, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a Benedictine monk on the verge of taking his final vows. Amidst the seductive beauty of the South Carolina salt marshes, Jessie is torn between powerful new longings and her enduring marriage. After all these years she is finally beginning to understand who she really is and where she belongs. But she has still to discover how much of her old life has a place in the new one. Bookseller Inventory # AA69780755307630

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Book Description Headline Publishing Group, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. THE MERMAID CHAIR is a No. 1 New York Times bestseller from Sue Monk Kidd: Highly charged.full of sexual and spiritual desire. Every bit as moving and convincing as The Secret Life of Bees Mirror In her forties, and married for half her life, Jessie Sullivan honestly believes that she is happy. She has a lovely home, a dependable husband and an accomplished and adored teenage daughter. But when shocking news about her mother compels Jessie to visit the island where she grew up, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a Benedictine monk on the verge of taking his final vows. Amidst the seductive beauty of the South Carolina salt marshes, Jessie is torn between powerful new longings and her enduring marriage. After all these years she is finally beginning to understand who she really is and where she belongs. But she has still to discover how much of her old life has a place in the new one. Bookseller Inventory # AA69780755307630

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Book Description Headline Publishing Group. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Mermaid Chair, Sue Monk Kidd, The No. 1 New York Times bestseller - 'Highly charged.full of sexual and spiritual desire. Every bit as moving and convincing as The Secret Life of Bees' Mirror In her forties, and married for half her life, Jessie Sullivan honestly believes that she is happy. She has a lovely home, a dependable husband and an accomplished and adored teenage daughter. But when shocking news about her mother compels Jessie to visit the island where she grew up, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a Benedictine monk on the verge of taking his final vows. Amidst the seductive beauty of the South Carolina salt marshes, Jessie is torn between powerful new longings and her enduring marriage. After all these years she is finally beginning to understand who she really is and where she belongs. But she has still to discover how much of her old life has a place in the new one. Bookseller Inventory # B9780755307630

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