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Books: The Mermaid Chair

December 21, 2010 | Books

I read The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd for book club this month. I was a bit annoyed with the main character and the monk … it just seemed as if they tried too hard. But I really enjoyed the story, and the author surprised me, which is always a bonus. The best thing about book club (besides the wine) is getting an explanation for something from another person’s point of view and realizing, wow, that is so true! I don’t like to do spoilers, so I won’t explain in detail. I’ll just say that I got another perspective on the main character’s father … that his act was selfish instead of selfless, as it was portrayed. Brilliant.

What is it about reading books lately about midlife-identity crises? I didn’t even pick this book! In any case, here are a couple of quotes that stuck with me.

The mind is so good at revising reality to suit our needs. I had seen what I wanted. I had reinvented the objectionable, the most indigestible pieces of my life into something just palatable enough to bear. (p. 246)

I can’t explain that, except to say there’s release in knowing the truth no matter how anguishing it is. You come finally to the irreducible thing, and there’s nothing left to do but pick it up and hold it. Then, at least, you can enter the severe mercy of acceptance. (p. 304)

Oh, yeah. I also read the Norwegian version, Havfruestolen, which my friend Else gave to me this summer. The translation was actually very accurate (which isn’t always the case).

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  


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