Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Mermaid Chair

     Jessie Sullivan had an idyllic childhood on Egret Island until her father died.  As soon as she could, Jessie left the island.  When Jessie's mom deliberately cuts off her finger, Jessie leaves her husband Hugh and returns to the island.  While caring for her mother, Jessie falls in love with Brother Thomas who is months away from taking his final vows.  Their affair destroys her marriage and tears brother Thomas' faith in the life he has chosen.
     While on the island, Jessie rediscovers the mermaid chair that she loved as a child.  The legend of the mermaid who becomes a saint has always resonated with Jessie.  She doesn't know that the chair is intricately linked to her father's death and her mother's self mutilation.  Jessie needs to find the truth that will set her, and her mother, free.
     I liked this book, but it wasn't one of my favorites.  The affair with Brother Thomas was difficult for me to understand, and made me look at biases I was not aware of having.  Brother Thomas was an interesting character and I liked his thoughts about God and religion.
     The legend of the mermaid chair was beautiful.  It was an interesting way to bring the past and present together in the story.    

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