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The Mermaid Chair

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Sue Monk Kidd

Narrated By: Eliza Foss

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Date: October 2004

Duration: 10 hours 21 minutes


Sue Monk Kidd's stunning debut, The Secret Life of Bees, became a best-selling phenomenon and a modern classic. Now, in her luminous new novel, Kidd has woven a tale that will cement her reputation as one of the most remarkable writers at work today.

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

When Jessie is summoned home to the island to cope with her mother's inexplicable act of violence, she is living with her husband, Hugh. Jessie loves Hugh, but she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk who is soon to take his final vows.

Is the power of the mermaid chair only a myth? Or will it alter the course of Jessie's life? What transpires will unlock the roots of her mother's tormented past and it will allow Jessie to make a marriage unto herself.

The Mermaid Chair is a vividly imagined novel about the passions of the spirit and the ecstasies of the body. It illuminates the awakening of a woman to her own deepest self with a brilliance and power that only a writer of Kidd's ability could conjure.


  • Anonymous

    I liked this book a lot. I wanted more of an epilogue to see what happened to some of the characters. I loved the descriptions of the island and the legend of the chair. Would recommend!

  • Shane

    It takes a LONG TIME to get going. There are a ton of characters. And the story is a little predictable. But the plot is well defined. There is some intriguing action, and the imagery is real. Add a good narator and you have a good book for the read. Not in the class with Secret Life of Bees, but good nonetheless.

  • Anonymous

    I really enjoyed this one. This is the sort of experience that keeps me renting audiobooks.

  • Anonymous

    A warm story of transition allowing anyone to find meaning.

  • Amy

    This book was a good read, In some places it left something to be desired but overall I was glad to listen to it, ending I did not expect.

  • Anonymous

    After the listening to The Secret Life of Bees, I couldn't wait to hear The Mermaid Chair. I have to say that I was quite disappointed and almost didn't finish listening to the book. I found the main character to be very unsympathetic. We so often hear the story of the man with the midlife crisis who trades in his old wife and boring life for something new and exciting. This story isn't much different, even though the main character is female. The setting and main character's childhood issues add an interesting flavor to the story, but I don't recommend it.

  • Anonymous

    I loved Sue Monk Kidds book the secret life of bees but was very disappointed with the Mermaid Chair.

  • Anonymous

    This book was engaging and it got better as it went along. The recent movie did not do the book justice at all so don't use that as an indicator.

  • Anonymous

    I liked this book. It's not as compelling as The Secret Life of Bees, but I still enjoyed the story. It's about healing and love, especially loving yourself.

  • Anonymous

    Now I understand why Harper Lee never wrote another book. This books was such a disappointment after The Secret Life of Bees. It wasn't anything more than a shallow romance novel. I honestly don't understand how the author could spend as much time with this self-absorbed, yawningly boring heroine as she did.