Customer Reviews for

The Mermaid Chair

Average Rating 3
( 347 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(84)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(70)

2 Star

(60)

1 Star

(66)

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 1 – 20 of 347 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 18
  • Posted December 21, 2011

    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 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.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 7, 2010

    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 really bad.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2011

    different feel than Bees

    This is much more a love story for adults than Secret life of bees. Well worth a read, and would make a great beach book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Plot is too thin to sustain a full novel.

    Here's the plot: Jessie, 42, is questioning her marriage as she takes care of her emotionally unsettled mother. Jessie has a brief affair, learns the truth about her father's death, and they all lived happily ever after.

    It's that thin. I can't believe someone made an entire novel out of something so flimsy. The author tries to make it into something sacred, scraping for metaphor with hackneyed symbolism (water, fire, purification rituals) and tenuous ties to Roman Catholic mysticism, but in the end it is repetitive and trying. There is no richness here, only a lot of set dressing.

    For some odd reason the protagonist is narrating the story (set in the late 1980s) as if it were decades ago; you get to the end of the book and find it was only a year ago. Why the late 1980s? Why all of the references to the politics of the day, to Mr. Coffee and Sony Walkman, and the myriad other product placements in the narrative? There's no sense of why there was a need to anchor the story so firmly in that period.

    Briefly concentrating on a few of the other characters of the story were anemic at best. There are Kat and Hepzibah, the two old friends (think Ya-Ya Sisterhood) of Jessie's mother who know all of the secrets but have about all of the back story of wallpaper. There are the monks of the neighboring abbey who are as two-dimensional. There are some fake saints and saints tales, but these don't add substantially to the story. There is Jessie's brother in California who is mentioned mainly in retrospect; you really have no idea why he has turned to Buddhism and moved so far away.

    When at last Jessie's mother releases her awful memory, it's not so awful; it's just garden-variety grief and guilt over aiding her husband to die (like we didn't figure that out right away).

    It's a waste of time and money.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    LOVED IT

    I read it in three sittings. I LOVED it. I also enjoyed the Secret Life of Bees, but I think this book was FAR BETTER! I think so many people can relate to the feelings of the main character of the book, although many would make difference choices than the character did. I found the book to be an easy read. I would suggest it to my friends.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Loved it

    Great story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 9, 2013

    This is one of those books that remind how very different I am f

    This is one of those books that remind how very different I am from most people. I saw nothing "spiritual" in this book, just a selfish, rich, narcissitic woman who had a good husband and life (except for her nutty Mother that she hadn't seen in years) but has a lust filled affair with a monk - a virtual stranger, who she decides she is her soul mate and is in LOVE with. after a few minutes of meeting. I find nothing romatic or even passionate about adultery - especially when one of the people is a vowed religious.

    The whole story about the Mother and her friends covering up a virtual murder (assisited suicide - yeah sure) is horrific - that a Priest would help with such a thing and these people allow this CHILD to beleive she had something to do with her fathers death is also sinful.

    Not only that but the book wasn't even well written - I had a hard time finishing it and did so only at the urging of a couple of freinds who now are not friends anymore. There seems to be little regret or true repentance on the part of anyone, (except maybe the Mother but her mental illness may or may not stem from regret) especially the "lovers", who, in thier own selfishness and lust hurt so many other people, especially the womans family - this is a hurt that does not go away - just feeling "stagnant" in one's marriage is hardly a reason to cheat - there are many other ways to find joy in one's life - breaking vows and promises is not the way and trying to make it some great lesson learned is sad. I just never get the idea that a person has to lie and cheat to somehow find "fulfillment" and there is NO spiritual lesson that can be learned by lying, cheating, murder, adultery and breaking solemn vows. The idea that monks would beleive a actual Mermaid had become a woman and then a Saint is just about as ridiculous as the rest of the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sue Monk Kidd does it again.

    Just when I was so in love with "The Secret Life of Bees", I read this one and I'm so thrilled with it now. I love her writing and the way she weaves and winds around her characters. I loved it from beginning to end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Love It!

    This book is so good I could not put it down. I kept it in my purse and read it at every spare moment and it continued to surprise me and kept me engaged in the story. It was a wonderful story and it was written in a way that allows you to be there with the characters. To see what they see and feel what they feel. I love this book. I read the Secret Life of Bees and this story even beats it which is amazing in itself!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Worth it!

    I think it was even better than "Bees". If your over thirty and married or ever been married add another star. Sue Monk Kidd is a gifted storyteller whose wit and imagination allow you to throughly lose yourself in this book. It's also a quick read. Great for Book Clubs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An Excellent Read!

    If I hadn't read "The Secret Life of Bees", I would consider this one of the best books I have ever read. I did think "The Secret Life of Bees" was a bit better story.... but that may be just my particular interest. I disagree with the discussions of "age groups (40+) unless it is referring to 40 +++. I am 66 and thoroughly enjoyed this book. I find that the age and situation of the heroine in any book can be identified with, no matter what our situations as women. What I am not actually experiencing at the time, does not dim in memory or experience. I think ANY woman could identify with the heroine, and it was a really interesting concept and story. I would recommend anything written by Sue Monk Kidd, and I am looking forward to her next novel.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 26, 2008

    escape your everyday life

    This was a simple story with lively characters. Loved it. Highly Recommend it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Mris BIO

    Name Mri
    Gender Female
    Looks on land Strawberryblond hair that is down to her legs. Hair is alwas dry. Smooth hair. Eyes the color of the sea. Hair has pink streaks.
    Looks in the sea. White shells and black tail. Hair is flowy. Pink and blue streaks.
    Dateing stuts single.
    Persnality Ask
    Other asj

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

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Lilah's Bio

    L&iota|&alpha<_>h &sigma&#131 N&sigma<_>r&sigma &#22672
    <p>
    Ag&epsilon-
    <br>
    'Round 15 in human years
    <p>
    G&epsilon&eta<_>d&epsilon<_>r-
    <br>
    &female
    <p>
    A&rho&rho&epsilon&alpha<_>r&alpha&eta<_>c&epsilon-
    <br>
    She is a pure sea mermaid; she has never left the water and has never assumed legs; her skin is a pale ingido blue, her spine plated in hard scales; her eyes are aquamarine with amber splashes; hair is like raven feathers, falling past her waist; delicate yet sharp spines frill her face, her eyes arching; her tail is that of a seahorse, small spines and scales ridging it.
    <p>
    P&epsilon<_>rs&sigma&eta&alpha-
    <br>
    ...
    <p>
    O&tau<_>h&epsilon<_>r-
    <br>
    She grew up at sea. Her parents were captured and killed by pirates. She fled the disdraught and came to Noro. She made a few friends and went on a quest to find her parents. She has a run-in with the pirates, who told her her parents were dead. She left after Noro died and came here.

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

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Aquamarine's bio

    Name:Aquamarine<p>Age:19 gender: &female looks:blond hair with a terquoice streak in her hair,sunkissed skin,a aqua colored tail bf or husband:(i rp him)alexander His age:20 kids:(i rp them too) deven(&male),carl (&male) There ages are:16,18 personality:come and meet me.

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

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Pearl bio

    Name pearl appearence really long light blonde hair Sunkissed skin tail violet and aqua aqua shell top. Powers heating and freezing. Status single lookin for bf please reply to pearl

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

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Cordelias Bio

    Name: Cordelia Stormlen <br>
    Age: 18 <br>
    Gender: ... <br>
    Appearence while dry: Long blonde hair, about midway it is blue that fades into white. Her skin is sunkissed and her legs are longer than most, making her a little taller. Her eyes are a amazing blue. <br>
    Mermaid appearence: her scales are aqua blue. Tail and top. Her hair is mint with blue streaks. <br>
    Crush: iaretiimoiuD. Figure THAT code out ^.^ <br>
    History: Please just ask. <br>
    Personality: Please just meet her <br>
    Other: ask <br>
    ~Cordelia

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 25, 2014

    I agree with the review of Elishka.  I could barely believe this

    I agree with the review of Elishka.  I could barely believe this was a Kidd novel.  Very shallow plot and poorly developed characters.  Protagonist is more whiney brat than adult in crisis.  Brother Thomas is weak beyond words.  I am not bothered about the romance between the two,. I loved The Thorn Birds, but this doesn't even come close.  The whole think was so predictable each sted of the way.  One of the worst books I have ever read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 11, 2014

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

    Posted June 11, 2014

    @wc

    Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeee stop who cares

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 347 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 18