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 Island amid 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....Continua
Going back to the book.
The plot: a married woman with a middle age crisis who falls in love with a priest. Nothing that we haven't already read in a cheap romance or a women's fiction book.
The religious obsession of the mother is the only one thing that kept me reading this novel, giving it a touch of interest.
As for the stress on religion, I understand American society is living a kind of religious euphoria during these last years, and while Catholic guilt feelings can be interesting once, when it gets to be a constant issue for an author, like in Kidd's case, it starts to be boring, at least for me.
And, last but not least, the writing.
"You can't stop your heart from loving, really - it's like standing out there in the ocean yelling at the waves to stop"
"I stepped out of them and stood in my light blue panties and matching bra and let him stare at me"
"I wanted to go and slide my arms around him, press my face against his back, say, It's okay, it is. We were meant for this (...)"
Sentences like these made me really want to throw the book out of the train's window while going to work...
I'm so disappointed by this novel. I had enjoyed Kidd's first book as a good summer reading, but The mermaid chair is one of the most irritating books I have ever read. What a pity that a decent debut doesn't make a good writer!...Continua