Customer Reviews for

The Mermaid Chair

Average Rating 3
( 347 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(83)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(70)

2 Star

(60)

1 Star

(67)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Soul Satisfying Book

In The Mermaid Chair, Sue Monk Kidd does for fiction what the Flemish masters did for painting. She imbues each scene with so much reality it unfolds in your mind like a memory.

You can taste the salty sea air and smell the murky island scents of Egret Island. You fe...
In The Mermaid Chair, Sue Monk Kidd does for fiction what the Flemish masters did for painting. She imbues each scene with so much reality it unfolds in your mind like a memory.

You can taste the salty sea air and smell the murky island scents of Egret Island. You feel every horrific and blessed thing that Jessie experiences.

I have never fallen so completely in love with a book before. Her writing is beyond beautiful. It¿s startling and humbling. I found myself nodding and rereading lines, thinking YES that is exactly how it feels but how did she capture it so perfectly?

The book is brimming with brilliance. Some of my favorite lines are:

¿The mind is so good at revising reality to suit its needs.¿

¿There¿s release in knowing the truth no matter how anguishing it is.¿

¿Sometimes the heart wanted what the soul demanded.¿

The story felt like a mid-life crisis crossed with a finding oneself journey.

Sue Monk Kidd¿s website describes the story as ¿the transendent tale explores the lush, unknown region of the feminine soul where the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic exists. Here is an unforgettable love story, between a woman and a monk, a woman and her family, and ultimately a woman and her own soul.¿

I think of it as a spiritual journey that leaves Jessie and the reader forever changed by calling into question the bonds of love and commitment. By reminding us that everything is a choice. Whether to leave a husband, to reunite with a parent, to be fully alive.

Sue Monk Kidd is a master of the writing craft. Her ability to set the scene is breathtaking and realistic. Her dialogue is poignant. Her character¿s internal thoughts vivid and engaging. There was not one point in the book where I wanted to put it down. Every aspect of the writing was engaging. I will be rereading this book for years to come, hoping to gain insight into how she does it.

posted by KourtneyH on December 21, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Buy The Secret Life of Bees pass this one by

I bought this book for my mom cause she loved the Secret Life of Bees, do not buy this book you will regret it. She hated this book and told me all the details daily as she read this book, she could not have hated a book more. Save yourself do not buy this book it is re...
I bought this book for my mom cause she loved the Secret Life of Bees, do not buy this book you will regret it. She hated this book and told me all the details daily as she read this book, she could not have hated a book more. Save yourself do not buy this book it is really bad.

posted by i-READ-BEFORE-COMMENTING on May 7, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 41 – 60 of 347 Customer Reviews
Page 3 of 18
  • Posted May 30, 2010

    Just okay- not really worth the read-

    This was just an okay book. I wouldn't highly recommend it. This is the story of Jessie who has to go home to deal with her mother who is committing acts of violence. She leaves her husband, Hugh while she is gone and finds herself drawn to a monk (Brother Thomas). Is the power of the mermaid chair a reality or a myth? This was an interesting story but it is unreal, immoral and a bit boring! It is not a story I could relate to, nor would I want to. It is just okay, I wouldn't read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2010

    ABSOLUTELY AND UTTERLY HORRIBLE

    I am not able to understand why anyone would even remotely like this book.
    Way too boringly descriptive, not a good story line and absolutely no substance whatsoever. Bland, blah and yawn.
    Possibly an OK short story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not What I Expected

    I loved "The Secret Life of Bees" and I was a little disappointed at the amount of sexuality in this book. I feel that it is entirely unnecessary to include such details. The plot was thought-provoking and I appreciated the way the author wove the plot around such an obscure myth. Overall, I enjoyed reading it but I could not recommend this novel to my friends and I will probably not read it again.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    if you love'd "Secret life of Bees" read this...

    a very different type of tale from "the scret life of bees" but an inspiring tale nonw the less. Kidd has a way of making the reader connect with the reader so you seem to be part of the story. Great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2009

    Ehh....

    I read this book because I read The Secret Life of Bees, and I must say I was thoroughly dissappointed. I could hardly get through this book. I was annoyed at the main character's selfishness and was overall not impressed. I would not recommend this book if you enjoy fast-paced, gripping books.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2008

    Good Book

    I thought that this was a really good book. I wouldn't say that it necessarily enhanced my knowledge but its more like "it is what it is". I read this book one summer and found it to be a good afternoon laying by the pool summer read or something I would have taken on a vacation. It is an easy read and shouldn't take very long. Piggybacking on what another commentator said about the book being a good read for women 40+ I would say that it could be described this way. I think women of all ages would enjoy the book but the issues that the main character faced could be shared among some women who are in their 40's and up more. Women in these particular age groups could probably identify with the main character more. I would say that the book is an easy read and definitely a good rainy day or laying by the pool book. Honestly I truly loved it! It was more of an escapism type thing not in the sense of fantasy like "Lord of The Rings." Rather fantasy that is more realistically based and one could see happening.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    Sorry, not up to snuff.

    I absolutely loved The Secret Life of Bees. It still remains one of my favorites to this day so when Mermaid Chair was released I couldn't wait to read it. I got the Audiobook for a car trip and I was far from impressed. Granted, my expectations were probably very high due to my love for the last book. I couldn't relate to the characters, I wasn't excited as the story progressed and actually ended up forcing myself to listen to it in its entirety so I felt like I got my money's worth before trading it in. I was quite disappointed with this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2008

    one of my favorite books

    I loved this book because it isn't simple like so many other love stories. It's imperfect and real. It is beautifully written and emotionally captivating.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2008

    Unable to Suspend Disbelief.......

    Sue Monk Kidd's first book, The Secret Life of Bees, was such a fabulous story that I could not put it down. It is difficult to follow such a wonderful book with another that is equally good, and The Mermaid Chair does not even come close. Some of the characters were so unbelievable that I could not finish this book. For example, one of the lead characters is a lawyer turned Monk! I have worked most of my life for lawyers and do not know one who would have opted to become a Monk, no matter what tragedies in life may have occurred. Worse yet, I don't know any lawyers who would have been accepted into the Monkhood! Brother Thomas meets Jessie (the female lead) when her mother deliberately chops off one of her own fingers, and is found carrying it in a mayonnaise jar through the monastery garden to bury it. This is how Jessie meets the Monk. This is so unbelievable that nothing else matters after that. I hope Ms. Kidd comes back down to earth before attempting a 3rd novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2008

    Good Book for 40+ Women

    I enjoyed this book very much!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2008

    This book was just awful.....

    Like so many others, I loved The Secret Life of Bees. I cannot believe The Mermaid Chair actually came out of the mind of Sue Monk Kidd. It was terrible. Probably the worst book I have ever read. The plot was terrible, the characters shallow and the writing overdone and overly descriptive. I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the passages especially from the main character. Ugh.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    Loved this Book!

    I absolutly loved this book! It was written with such a lot of understanding of women reaching middle age and the longing for and wondering about different choices one might make.The sometimes difficult trial of dealing with aging parents and being in a position to care for them was also right on target. I did not put it down until I was finished and I would love a sequel!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    A smooth read

    'The Mermaid Chair' is a great story about a woman in her 40's discovering herself and those around her. A smooth read that at times will surprise you by making you reflect on your own life and the choices you've made.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2008

    Interesting

    This book wasn't what I expected but overall, good. I thought I would relate to it more frequently and was sadly disappointed when I didn't but I stayed interested. The author helped me understand the life of a middle-aged woman. The writing was good and fluent. It all seemed to fall right into place. I love the author's writing style and would recommend reading this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    Emotional.

    My father died when I was younger so at times this one was difficult for me. I was reading the charater's revelation scene during my lunch break and just burst into tears. I didn't enjoy the Secret Life of Bees but would recommend this one if you're into tearjerkers. I'd definitely classify this one as chick lit.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    A Mother and Daughter Relationship

    I thought the Mermaid's Chair was an incredible story, an easy read, but wonderful none the less. I had a lot of emotional attachment as I was reading it. It wasn't a difficult read. I learned some new vocabulary words and I felt I could picture what Kidd was writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2008

    Terrible, Terrible, Terrible.......

    This has to be one of the worst books i ever read. I had heard The Secret Life of Bees was good, so our book club thought we'd try this one. Just awful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2008

    Fantasy Island

    This book had high expections and have come up short. This is an easy book to read and follow for even the high school reader. The author is great at making you feel like you're really at the beach and in the same enviroment as the characters. This story is full of vivid legends and stories, so much so that they become unbelieveable. The process a middle-aged women faces when she considers divorce is a complex one and the author makes this affair and seperation an easy break. All the main events are overkill and the ending was a easy way out and undeveloped. I would have enjoyed the book more if the author would have spent more time on Jesse and Hugh's reuniting and shows the real reasons why the couple will remain or split. Hi honey I'm home, my mother cut off 2 fingers, and my father committed suicide and I commited adultry, lets stay together this wasn't good enough and left the reader not connecting to her characters at all in the end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    Great book

    I chose this book because it looked very interesting. It is about mothers and daughters and my mother and I are very close. I enjoyed the book because it was easy to follow and it had things in it that I am interested in. This book also will better help you understand society. There are many different people in societies and this book helps you understand how mentally challenged people live their lives. I would recommend this book to others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    The Mermaid Chair

    The book starts out slow. For the most part the book forces on Jessie when in fact it's more about her father, mother and thier big sercet. At the same time it is about her searching for a purpose for her life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 41 – 60 of 347 Customer Reviews
Page 3 of 18