The Mermaid Chair

Thoughts by Sue Monk Kidd, Viking 2005, 336 pages

Challenge: What’s in a Name: Mythical Being or #ReadICT: Mythology (6)

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction

Type/Source: Hardcover / Library Bag Sale 2021

What It’s About: — An empty-nester SAHM is unhappy. She finds her place in the world diminished and unsatisfied. In the process of rescuing her mom who is suffering from odd behaviors, she moves back to her hometown/island, has an odd affair with a monk, solves a mystery or two, and discovers the artist within. Ultimately, she rescues herself and her marriage.

Thoughts: In my quest to read everything by Sue Monk Kidd, because I really enjoyed her thoughts about how she came to write The Book of Longings (my review May2021), I set this book as my First Book this year. Mostly because I had just lifted it off the shelf to fit the WiaN category. It fits my other big challenge so Big YAY.

I couldn’t quite bring myself to go that far — all that paddling around in the alphabet soup of one’s childhood, scooping up letters, hoping to arrange them into enlightening sentences that would explain why things that turned out the way they had. Revoked a certain mutiny in me.”

(early in the book, when her husbands suggests she talk to a therapist.)

Knowing that the reviews on this book are mixed, I went into it with lower expectations, with a certain curiosity versus and hope-to-enjoy, if that makes sense? I did feel to me, that she set up her plot and then made it happen, but it misses that spark of something created out of nothing. It felt like a collection of thoughts and then-this-happened, etc. Plus, the main character is hard to like or feel anything for, unfortunately. Her assisting cast also felt stereotypical. However, it was readable and I didn’t mind my time in the story. I was curious about her mom and what really happened to her father. The spiritual questioning and awakening stuff wasn’t very convincing yet at the same time, I appreciated how she created her sentences. I won’t deny her writing skills.

This is a sophomore effort, coming off her best-selling debut, The Secret Life of Bees, which I read pre-blogging. She has kept at it and, as mentioned above, her latest is terrific and very brave, original. Now I will dive into her memoirs — I think I might enjoy these the best.

Rating: Three slices of pie. No pie mentioned.




5 thoughts on “The Mermaid Chair

  1. I think I’ve missed out on this author entirely, although maybe my F2F group read The Secret Life of Bees? I can’t even remember. I’ll just have to watch for The Book of Longings at library sales, since I’m about to dive into Year 2 of my book-buying ban. Sorry this one was meh.

  2. I haven’t read anything by this author. Yes, people are shocked when I say this. The seashells on the cover are gorgeous and the cover alone makes me want to read it.

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