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Jessie Sullivan is summoned home to tiny Egret Island, where she meets Brother Thomas, a monk who is about to take his final vows, and encounters the legend of a mysterious chair dedicated to a saint who had originally been a mermaid.
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 No. 1 New York Times bestseller and award-winning novel, from the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings. A beautiful and haunting exploration of human relationships, personal fulfilment and spirituality. 'Highly charged... full of sexual and spiritual desire. Every bit as moving and convincing as The Secret Life of Bees' Mirror 'Beautiful writing...Kidd's characters cherish storytelling' USA Today 'It's hard to put this book down for little things like sleeping and eating' Elle In her forties, and married for half her life, Jessie Sullivan honestly believes that she is happy. She has a lovely home, a dependable husband and an accomplished and adored teenage daughter. But when shocking news about her mother compels Jessie to visit the island where she grew up, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a Benedictine monk on the verge of taking his final vows. Amidst the seductive beauty of the South Carolina salt marshes, Jessie is torn between powerful new longings and her enduring marriage. After all these years she is finally beginning to understand who she really is and where she belongs. But she has still to discover how much of her old life has a place in the new one. What readers are saying about The Mermaid Chair: 'I was drawn in from the first sentence and felt emotionally attached to each and every one of the characters. Couldn't put it down; loved it' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 'The telling of the tale was thoughtful and very beautiful and I felt that I'd shared Jessie's journey' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'This is a wonderful novel, spellbinding with characters that you can wholly visualise and want to know. The writing is very strong and not for a long time have I remembered the style, flavour and feeling of a novelist's writing long after I've finished it' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'This book spoke right to my heart, right to the pull and tug of what it is to be a woman, a wife, a mother. This book is beautifully written and has become my favourite amongst the Sue Monk Kidd novels that I have devoured' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
The multi-million bestselling novel about a young girl's journey towards healing and the transforming power of love, from the award-winning author of The Invention of Wings Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sister, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come. From the Trade Paperback edition.
An introspective and beautiful dual memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling novelist and her daughter. Look out for Ann Kidd Taylor's new novel, The Shark Club, which will be published in June 2017. Sue Monk Kidd has touched millions of readers with her novels The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair and with her acclaimed nonfiction. In this intimate dual memoir, she and her daughter, Ann, offer distinct perspectives as a fifty-something and a twenty-something, each on a quest to redefine herself and to rediscover each other. Between 1998 and 2000, Sue and Ann travel throughout Greece and France. Sue, coming to grips with aging, caught in a creative vacuum, longing to reconnect with her grown daughter, struggles to enlarge a vision of swarming bees into a novel. Ann, just graduated from college, heartbroken and benumbed by the classic question about what to do with her life, grapples with a painful depression. As this modern-day Demeter and Persephone chronicle the richly symbolic and personal meaning of an array of inspiring figures and sites, they also each give voice to that most protean of connections: the bond of mother and daughter. A wise and involving book about feminine thresholds, spiritual growth, and renewal, Traveling with Pomegranates is both a revealing self-portrait by a beloved author and her daughter, a writer in the making, and a momentous story that will resonate with women everywhere.
"Set in the ocean off Japan, this retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears stars Kiniro, a mermaid, who finds a baby octopus's breakfast, chair, and bed just right"--
"A masterpiece of women’s wisdom."—Christiane Northrup, M.D. "The journey to capture her feminine soul and live authentically . . . makes a fascinating, well-researched and well-written story."—Publishers Weekly In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its publication, a newly reissued edition of the bestselling author’s classic work of feminine spiritual discovery, with a new introduction by the author. "I was amazed to find that I had no idea how to unfold my spiritual life in a feminine way. I was surprised, and, in fact, a little terrified, when I found myself in the middle of a feminist spiritual reawakening."—Sue Monk Kidd For years, Sue Monk Kidd was a conventionally religious woman. Then, in the late 1980s, she experienced an unexpected awakening, and began a journey toward a feminine spirituality. With the exceptional storytelling skills that have helped make her name, Kidd tells her very personal story of the fear, anger, healing, and freedom she experienced on the path toward the wholeness that many women have lost in the church. From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore, to monastery retreats and to rituals in the caves of Crete, she reveals a new level of feminine spiritual consciousness for all women—one that retains a meaningful connection with the "deep song of Christianity," embraces the sacredness of ordinary women’s experience, and has the power to transform in the most positive ways every fundamental relationship in a woman's life—her marriage, her career, and her religion.

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