On Grace and Guilt: Review of “The Mermaid Chair”

The last thing I did before leaving Friday morning for Atlanta, was to go to the library and pick up a couple of books on tape. “The Mermaid Chair,” by Sue Monk Kidd, was my hands-down favorite.

The book will trouble some — a married woman has an extra-marital affair with a monk, though they experience the consequences of their actions in ways reminiscent to “Bridges of Madison County.” However, this book also caused me to think about origins, and how the actions of our parents leave an indelible (and often unintelligible) mark on the lives of their children. This novel, then, explores the process by which we come to understand and accept not only the limitations and aspirations of our parents … but our own as well. Grief, hope, betrayal, longing, memory — all interspersed and interwoven, joining generation to generation.

A thought-provoking read.

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About hsaxton

Heidi Hess Saxton is an adoptive parent of two children, and converted to Catholicism in 1994. She is adoptive parent columnist at CatholicMom.com and CatholicExchange.com. She also writes for the Parenting Channel at AnnArbor.com. In her spare time, she is finishing up her Master's thesis at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

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