The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
“At forty-two, I had never done anything that took my own breath away, and I suppose now that was part of the problem–my chronic inability to astonish myself. I promise you, no one judges me more harshly than I do myself; I caused a brilliant wreckage. Some say I fell from grace; they’re being kind. I didn’t fall. I dove.”
― The Mermaid Chair
I cannot tell you how much the above quote left my lips and rocked my inner core. I feel this down to my soul. At 41 I still don’t think I’ve done anything to astonish myself, and its due time. Well maybe I have, maybe this one thing. A hard lesson in life is being enough, enough for yourself. We all have that extremely harsh inner voice. This review is not about me though. It’s about the epicness of this book.
I just love the writing in this book; its so smart and soulful. This book really sends you soul searching. It brings to light issues of marriage and forbidden love, and mystery. It was a book I craved to read even when I had to put it down. When given a chance to take the moral high ground, you wont. You’ll dive deep down with Jessie. You start to feel her palpable ache. You may even start to forgive yourself a little, and realize sometimes you must let go and just let yourself be. In the end I felt conflicted I understood the letting go of Brother Thomas, but still wanting it to continue.
“You can’t stop your heart from loving, really — it’s like standing out there in the ocean yelling at the waves to stop.” The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
The New York Times–bestselling second novel by the author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings
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.