As the pages turn… Book reviews

I am reading a great book. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. I picked up the book at the airport in Vegas. I had seen it several times and wanted to buy it but I didn’t have a great reason. Once I discovered that my flight was to be delayed and I heard announcements that some flights were being delayed five hours I thought that was reason enough. I had read a book, well all but a few chapters on the flight to Vegas and knew that the few pages would not last. So I had finished the mindless read at the gate. I wanted to wait til get my seat before starting the book.

The flight was fairly normal and I was positioned next two fairly normal people. The man to my right fell asleep and the lady to my left was polite except for the fact that we had started making slight small talk. I had thought that our conversation was done and I lifted my book as an exit to the conversation. Yet she still would interrupt. I was nice but continued to answer her question with increasing pauses. I know that she knew I wanted to continue to read and ignored the fact. In a way I am still not sure if maybe she was a little slow. How do you say in a nice way that you think that someone might not be all there?

Back to the book. I guess I was attracted to the book because of the title. I have always loved the magic that mermaids hold. My family actually love telling the story that when I was younger after viewing the movie SPLASH I would stay in the tub for hours, with the hopes of growing fins. And then later the The Little Mermaid. I remember watching the movie and wondering why she would want a normal life when the life of a mermaid seems so much better.

The book is about a woman who is called to her mother who as gone “crazy” and has cut off her index finger. She takes the chance to go help her but the truth is that she wants to run away. Her life is normal and calm and she is numb. Upon her arrival her memories tell you about her fathers early death and the longing to live that is left with her. Her Mother is still on the small island that she grew up on and until her fathers death she loved. When at the age of nine he dies she wants out. She feels with sadness and expresses this with art. I don’t want you to worry that I am giving away the book because I am in love with the romance of the words and not the plot.

  She returns and discovers how much she loves the island and the unique simple life that others come to tour. Of course it seems that the tourists in the book come to play but will never make it home. How often I want to go tour different lifestyles only to return Home.  I am always intrigued with the idea of home. I moved away from my childhood home and I still am away but yet I still feel that I am at Home, because to me I want to define it as the love of oneself. I had to leave to find mine and yet I think you have to return to the home physical land and the keep the love and new understanding that you have of yourself to feel complete. When I visit my old house and see my old friends I enjoy the time but have this feeling that I will return to the people who know me now. There is almost a fear that one day like I have felt many times before I will wake up one day and not be able to stand where I am headed. I tend to always change things. Change is not a problem but before I had a dream of going away and somehow proving to myself that I was ok by myself. The fear is that this time I will wake up and realize that me by myself is not enough. Where do you go from there. It’s easier to run away than to run back.

I don’t want to run back, at the moment I want to be content with my great life. There are so many pieces of my life that I would not want to trade. And sometimes I sit and look at how much I have and get overwhelmed. What did I do to deserve all this. I have been so lucky with the choices that I have made. Strange I know that a lot of the good things has to do with what choices I made regarding my so called Bad luck. Yes that sentence makes no sense, but there is no other way that I can describe it.

The character Jessie meets and falls in love with a Monk. Now this is where when you describe the book it sounds almost uninteresting. But Whit is a man who had something happen to his family and went to abbey to run to grief while other think its to run away. He is a doubter and describes his faith in the best way that I can feel to describe my own faith. He of course wants to believe and knows that he believes but is fighting the doubt that he has. He covets what to some seem so easy. Not the people who just believe but the ones that understand and devote themselves to God. He enjoys this lifestyle that makes sense and is comforting but fears that it is the life that he loves and not God. He understands the bible and has the facts that establish the foundation of religion.  He is trying to grow into the person that he believes that he is.

The love that Jessie and Whit grow into is tearing apart the old lives and making new strange ones to replace. At this point in the book they are looking into the future about what will be to come. I don’t know if they will choose to go back to the old lifestyle or choose the frighten yet exciting new dangerous life. I can see both, but no matter what they do they can never go back the same. Its like they set this up to make at least something happen.

I realize that this is not the first time that this story of self doubt has been told I just love the way vocabulary that she tells it in. While the book has about two hundred pages less than the other I am only about two hundred pages into to it, and have already committed more hours. Its strange how if i enjoy the book time seems to slow and I am absorbed by the whole textures of reading. The simple idea of lines, on a piece of white paper, that form a conversation with you. It amazes me.

I really do love reading and have sadness for those who don’t. Oh I also want to tell about how the main character is an artist and forms not only paintings but does shadow box type art. She is searching for a way to express herself but also feels compelled to make it for others. At one point she says how she doesn’t feel like a true artist because her art doesn’t cause a strong feeling. It doesn’t affect people. I have always wanted to paint and take photos but feel that my need to make them pretty keeps me from expressing what I truly want. So the whole thing keeps me overwhelmed and I don’t learn how to accomplish what I want.

Well even at the clock ticks to early in the morning I want to continue reading. And I will be surprised if anyone reads my whole blog, maybe I am counting on the fact the most wont. That’s why its so easy to share things that are so personal.


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