The Mermaid Chair
11 journalers for this copy...
"Starred Review. Jessie Sullivan, the protagonist of this rewarding second novel by the author of the bestselling Secret Life of Bees, is awakened by a shrilling phone late one night to horrifying news: her mother, who has never recovered from her husband Joe's death 33 years earlier, has chopped off her own finger with a cleaver. Frantic with worry, and apprehensive at the thought of returning to the small island where she grew up in the shadow of her beloved father's death and her mother's fanatical Catholicism, 42-year-old Jessie gets on the next plane, leaving behind her psychiatrist husband, Hugh, and college-age daughter, Dee. On tiny Egret Island, off the coast of South Carolina, Jessie tries to care for her mother, Nelle, who is not particularly eager to be taken care of. Jessie gets help from Nelle's best friends, feisty shopkeeper Kat and Hepzibah, a dignified chronicler of slave history. To complicate matters, Jessie finds herself strangely relieved to be free of a husband she loves—and wildly attracted to Brother Thomas, né Whit O'Conner, a junior monk at the island's secluded Benedictine monastery. Confusing as the present may be, the past is rearing its head, and Jessie, who has never understood why her mother is still distraught by Joe's death, begins to suspect that she's keeping a terrible secret. Writing from the perspective of conflicted, discontented Jessie, Kidd achieves a bold intensity and complexity that wasn't possible in The Secret Life of Bees, narrated by teenage Lily. "
This was absolutely one of the best books I have read this year, I liked it very much! I want to have this book in my permanent collection, but I´ll start a Finnish book ring, if there are others, who like to share this book with me!
Vien kirjan viikonloppuna ruzenalle Hämeenlinnaan.
Ringissä mukana toistaiseksi
From the first beginning I liked the way Sue Monk "Nomen est omen" Kidd writes. Her good sense of humor is enjoyable (LOL: Freudian Timex candy story). She creates odd and hilarious characters like Mother and Hepzibah, in addition to the solid main characters. She paints beautifully the small community with pretty surroundings.
Yet halfway reading the book I was about to skip; the story was turning out to be a plain lousy love story and not even well written. I was glad I didn't give up, because the rest of the book was a true pageturner.
Thank you lukutuoli - Sue Monk Kidd was an acquaintance new to me. The chair will move house to dotdot.
And to ruzena: Erikoiskiitokset Optimistista. Yhden sen jutuista on kirjoittanut vanha kuvaamataidonopettajani ja toisen isäni vanhan kaverin tytär. Maailma ja etenkin Häme on niin kovin pieni. :)
Niksu will get the book on next meet-up.
This story reminded lots of other books I have read lately. Quickly thinking Joanne Harris: Coastliners, Kristin Hannah: Summer Islands, Sue Miller: While I was gone and even Chuck Palahniuk: Diary.
Thanks to lukutuoli for letting me part of the ring. I have already PM'd chirel and I'm waiting to get the address.
[09/11] OK, so I did't have time for this after all... I passed the book on to chirel at the Tampere November meetup.
Home to lukutuoli in todays meeting (I hope...)
Will give the book to chrisim next time I'll see her, maybe in the meet-up in January.
I didn't like much Jessie. It was hard to symphatise her what came into her love problems. The mother issue was more interesting. The mystery in her past was the hook of this story. Anyhow I was disappointed when the sad secret reavealed. The friendship of "three Egreteers" was affecting - especially when Nelle isolated herself and the others still cared for her and wanted all the best for her.
At last the book will be returned to lukutuoli! That is today in our monthly meeting in La Famille.
24.1.2010 At long last I had time to read this book. Like a few others already mentioned earlier The Secret Life of Bees was much better, but this was okay as well. I recall seeing a movie based on this book, which was a bit tacky. I found Jessie a bit hard to relate to and she seemed a bit self-centred. Or the reasons for her quest for self-awakening weren't spelled out clearly enough. But I liked other elements in the book - the island, the monastery and the friendship of the three women.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Hippolein had this book on the wishlist and so it will travel next to him as a part of the Finnish Hippa-ketju (wishlist-tag-game of the Finnish BC-forum).
Funny, just got yesterday at the meeting in Helsinki "The Secret Life of Bees" by the same writer, now the trouble is, first read this one or start with the Bees ??
Have to tell I liked the book, managed to read it in one go yesterday (good Sundays are there to make it possible, and a cold to keep me away from all the other things I should have done). The main character is perhaps not that easy to feel sympathy for, but the environment and the other persons are very well described. I felt sorry for the poor monk at the end, hoping it would have turned out better for him after all.
Glad I read this book, gave me the idea to speed up my "Aakkoshaaste" still a bit, you never know what wonderful books I still have lying at home waiting to be read ;)
The book goes next to teddyke!