Customer Reviews for

The Mermaid Chair

Average Rating 3
( 346 )
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(83)

4 Star

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1 Star

(66)

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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

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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

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Loved it

    Great story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Lilah's Bio

    L&iota|&alpha<_>h &sigma&#131 N&sigma<_>r&sigma &#22672
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    Ag&epsilon-
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    G&epsilon&eta<_>d&epsilon<_>r-
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    &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-
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    ...
    <p>
    O&tau<_>h&epsilon<_>r-
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    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Mist

    Shrugs and sits in a shadow.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I admit, I'm a longtime fan of SMK. Loved her Dance of the Dissi

    I admit, I'm a longtime fan of SMK. Loved her Dance of the Dissident Daughter, loved The Secret Life of Bees, and I love mermaids, yet this book... a little harder to get into. She has a beautiful, poetical way of expressing life's deeper questions, and yet... I found Jessie, her heroine, a bit whiny and self-indulgent. I &quot;get&quot; the whole idea of a woman discovering she must reinvent herself, in her forties, but... I was not surprised by her extramarital adventure, and thought the object of her fling, and her husband, were a bit too convenient and accommodating.

    I did fall in love with the Mermaid Chair, itself (I want one!); and was surprised at its connection with Jessie's beloved father. I love the way SMK integrates all the senses - I could feel the pluff mud on my feet, smell it, see the egrets flying through the air. The little details and secondary characters are wonderful, from Max the Island Dog, to Kat and Hepzibah. And what do you do with your elderly mother who has deliberately hacked off her finger yet seems perfectly sane? All in all, a very worthwhile read, especially if you are a woman in your forties or fifties.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Enjoyed

    Liked

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2008

    Good Book for 40+ Women

    I enjoyed this book very much!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2007

    Secrets Revealed and Choices Made

    40ish Jessie is summoned home when her mother hacks off her finger with a cleaver. So, Jessie returns to the small island off of SC, where her mother lives, next to a monastery. This is one of the few books I felt like I knew the characters, after I was done reading. I think I would recognize Jessie, Kat, Whit, or Hugh, if I were to see them on the street. Nice handling of flashbacks: not the bumbling clunky chunks of narrative that usually pass for flashbacks. I wish the epilogue had been left out, though. The author should leave us hungry for more, not just keep on hammering on that last point!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    A good light read with life lessons

    I really liked this book. It was interesting and engaging. I felt involved with the main character without identifying with her too much. However, I did identify with the feeling of complacancy and a need to 'find' myself. I will never choose to do what she did, but I really enjoyed reading about it. I thought this book was much better than The Secret Life of Bees.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2006

    Magical Romance

    The magical realism of this lovely, quiet novel captures the reader from the beginning. The romance is in the setting on Egret Island and in the legend of St.Senara and all the old legends of the mermaids. The author keeps you wondering what Jessie will do next and gives you the feeling that you are on this lovely island with it's white pelicans and beautiful breezes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2006

    Eh, it's alright.

    This author is VERY talented but the story line is just...meh.. Can't wait to finish the book though!

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