Sunday, May 18, 2014

From the Archives: The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

I began keeping a reading journal several years before I began blogging. I find it interesting to sift through my thoughts of books that I read back then. My reviews were often brief and contained little substance, but I thought it'd be fun to document them here on my blog as well as share them with you. Here is one from September of 2005: 



The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
Viking, 2005
Fiction;  335 pgs
From the Publisher:
Telling the story of Jessie Sullivan-a love story between a woman and a monk, a woman and her husband, and ultimately a woman and her own soul-Kidd charts a journey of awakening and self-discovery illuminated with a brilliance that only a writer of her ability could conjure.

Sue Monk Kidd’s first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, is one of my favorites. The prose and the story touched me in a way that so few books can. As a result, I was eager to try something else by Ms. Kidd. 

Fellow reader friends gave mixed reviews of the novel, some liking it and others being disappointed. I wasn’t sure what to expect. From the very first page I was taken in, wanting to read more. From the very first chapter, I felt a spark of recognition with the main character, perhaps not her experience exactly, but a sense of understanding with her inner struggle to discover—or rediscover—who she is. I imagine we all go through it at least once throughout our lives, some people several times. The Mermaid Chair is a story of love, self-discovery, forgiveness, and truth. It is a story about revisiting the past, questioning the present and stepping into the future. The author’s imagination for creating the history of the places she writes about is fascinating, and I found myself enamored with the stories about the mermaid, Senara, and her rise to sainthood as well as the fictional Egret Island. There was not one character that I did not like. I finished this novel with tears in my eyes and an urge to give my husband a great big hug and remind him of just how much I love him.


© 2014, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

14 comments:

  1. Doesn't look like a review without substance. I think you made it clear exactly what you thought about the book and how it affected you. I find it interesting to read my older reviews too, it gives you a different perceptive on your reading.

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    1. Violet - This one has a little more substance than some of my others from this time period. :-)

      I find it interesting too--and sometimes my memory of the book isn't quite the same as the thoughts I wrote down so many years before. That always fascinates me. In this case it was fortunately.

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  2. If you think that is a review without substance please don't look at my old ones! A book that moves you to tears is quite something, I believe the last one for me was me before you by Jojo Moyes, I could count on one hand how many times a book has done that to me.

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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    1. Lainy - This is one of my better old ones. :-) I'm not sure my being moved to tears is all that special anymore given how often I cry over a book. LOL Sometimes even commercials, I'm so bad. But I did really like this one.

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  3. What a great idea. I also kept a paper log of all the books I'd read before I started blogging though unlike yours mine really was insubstantial in that it was very little other than the title and author along with a sentence or two along the lines of plot: good, characters: ok.

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    1. Tracy - Wait until you read some of my other ones. Then you'll know what I'm talking about. :-) Definitely more summary than feeling.

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  4. Great review! I've never read any Sue Monk Kidd's but I've heard good things about most her books. I wish I had kept a journal of my actual thoughts on the books I was reading. I've been keeping a log since 2004 and while that's fun to read I think the thoughts would really add to it!

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    1. Katherine - This wasn't one of her more popular ones, if I remember right, but I really liked it. It's funny in a way because I usually don't like books that involve infidelity.

      I really wish I'd started journaling my reading earlier than I did. My dad used to keep a record of all the movies he ever watched--and that's what originally gave me the idea to journal. At least in part. That and I wanted to remember what I read better!

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  5. This is a great review. It sounds like a wonderful book (I haven't read anything by Sue Monk Kidd). I wish I had kept a paper log of the books I read before blogging. Sometimes I look at the books on my shelves and only have a hazy recollection of them.

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    1. A.M.B. - The Secret Life of Bees is my favorite by her so far.

      I know what you mean about having a hazy memory of some of the books you've read. Looking through my old journal, there were some titles I barely remember reading. And others it feels like I just read yesterday.

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  6. I remember enjoying this one as well when I read it pre-blog land. Have you seen the film version? It was alright.

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    1. Naida - Someone else who enjoyed this one! Yay! I thought I was the only one. :-) I did see the film, and agree with you. It was only okay.

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  7. I loved Bees so much and I;ve read such mixerd things about this one that I haven't picked it up yet. It is sitting on my shelf though!

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    1. Stacy - This one got quite a few mixed reviews when it first came out. I remember being only one of a small few who really loved it.

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