The Mermaid Chair - Sue Monk Kidd

The Mermaid Chair

By Sue Monk Kidd

  • Release Date: 2005-04-05
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4
From 168 Ratings


The New York Times–bestselling second novel by the author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings 

Inside the church of a Benedictine monastery on Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion.

When Jessie Sullivan is summoned home to the island to cope with her eccentric mother’s seemingly inexplicable behavior, she is living a conventional life with her husband, Hugh, a life “molded to the smallest space possible.” Jessie loves Hugh, but once on the island, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk about to take his final vows. Amid a rich community of unforgettable island women and the exotic beauty of marshlands, tidal creeks, and majestic egrets, Jessie grapples with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, with a freedom that feels overwhelmingly right and the immutable force of home and marriage.

Is the power of the mermaid chair only a myth? Or will it alter the course of Jessie’s life? What happens will unlock the roots of her mother’s tormented past, but most of all, it will allow Jessie to comes discover selfhood and a place of belonging as she explores the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic.


  • The mermaid chair

    By GG Grammy
    I loved this book! Along with the story is a mystery I attempted to solve on my on. My hunches were always wrong. Read and enjoy; you will try to solve it too!
  • The Mermaid Chair

    By AnnyOkley
    I have a love/hate relationship with this book! I have read it it thoroughly through 3 times over the years & have never given my copy away yet! I love the writing, love the story, & love & hate the characters!! Having said that, I know I will read it again, & love it again! Don’t deprive yourself of this wonderful complex story of the power of love!
  • Don't bother with this one

    By 3penny
    Her other books are so good that I gave this one a try. It was so tedious to get through I ended up skimming it to get it over with. Not much of a plot and uninteresting characters. Yawn yawn yawn.
  • The mermaid chair

    By Akkimmer
    A wonderful tale of lost and found.
  • Almost died of boredom

    By Aisan pickle
    Enough said.
  • The Mermaid Chair

    By Jessie vs. The World
    After reading "The Secret Life of Bees" I was ready to see what "The Mermaid Chair" had in store for me. I liked the emotional depth, and the imagination that was put into the history of the mermaids from the island. I can see how people loved the book and I can see how people hated the book only because Kidd writes in different view points: Jessie, Brother Thomas, and Hugh. I think that every character in is selfish in their own way. I'm not saying don't read the book because it is worth reading, but take the time to see each character's view point. I hope you'll understand what I mean by every character acts selfish.
  • The Mermaid Chair

    By Margep101
    There was a point in this story, that I thought it to be too far "out there" to be relevant to my life or anyone's. I quickly changed my mind and realized how very close to myself it was. The writing is beautiful, in true Sue Monk Kidd style! I love the imagery of this woman reaching within to find her true self. One that can stand on her own and choose to love. The expressions of her artwork, mirroring her freedom! Beautiful and important writing! Thank you!!
  • What a waste

    By Saint Daddybone
    I loved The Secret Life of Bees and had high hopes for this novel but was completely let down. This story was so bad it almost seemed to be from a different author. I found the characters in Bees to be complex, engaging, and I cared about them. In Chair, I despised just about everyone, especially the main character. She can rationalize her characters behavior all she wants but in the end the protagonist comes off as the height of selfishness.
  • The Mermaid Chair

    By Browneyed Mary
    What a great book. In some ways I liked this better than The Secret Life Of Bees because it wasn't as predictable. Lovely imagery and wonderful insight into us 40 something housewives! I've read this book a couple of times and find it refreshing each time. Enjoy!
  • The mermaid chair

    By The mermaid chair
    The mermaid chair is a fun but deep novel. Kidd describes life as a road with winding turns.....