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Publisher's Summary

Sue Monk Kidd's stunning debut, The Secret Life of Bees, became a best-selling phenomenon and a modern classic. Now, in her luminous new novel, Kidd has woven a tale that will cement her reputation as one of the most remarkable writers at work today. Inside the church of a Benedictine monastery on tiny Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a mysterious chair carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion.
When Jessie is summoned home to the island to cope with her mother's inexplicable act of violence, she is living with her husband, Hugh. Jessie loves Hugh, but she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk who is soon to take his final vows.
Is the power of the mermaid chair only a myth? Or will it alter the course of Jessie's life? What transpires will unlock the roots of her mother's tormented past and it will allow Jessie to make a marriage unto herself.
The Mermaid Chair is a vividly imagined novel about the passions of the spirit and the ecstasies of the body. It illuminates the awakening of a woman to her own deepest self with a brilliance and power that only a writer of Kidd's ability could conjure.
©2005 Sue Monk Kidd (P)2005 Penguin Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Kidd's second offering is just as gracefully written as her first and possesses an equally compelling story." (Kirkus Reviews)
"This emotionally rich novel, full of sultry, magical descriptions of life in the South, is sure to be another hit for Kidd." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Reid on 04-15-05

Such a disappointment

This is a predictable tale with unsympathetic, shallow characters and stories of human struggles that have been told better by other authors. There are moments of psychological insight, artistic creativity, and descriptions of natural beauty in the Low Country to be savored but which don't add momentum to the plodding plot. The feminist spiritual message is welcome but not as eloquently or subtly presented as in Secret Life of Bees. I see an exciting parallel between Dan Brown's "heretical" resurrection of female divinity from 2000 years of suppression and Kidd's female trinity. But I have to admit I burned out on the book by the end of Part I and never burned CDs for Part II.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 04-24-05

Let Down

I was very disappointed with the Mermaid Chair. I was looking forward to this book because I loved the Secret Life of Bees. Mermaid Chair was nothing more than a romance novel with a little more intellect than usual. I made myself finish it but it probably wasn't worth it.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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