Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Completed: The Mermaid Chair

Dear Jenny,

Go, me! I finished a TBR book! I started it 10 days ago and it's done and I'm already posting. Yay! Of course, it turned out to be a quick and easy read. But still -- I'm gettin' it done! (Okay. I'll stop patting myself on the back for reading a frigging book now...)

I'm not sure what to say about this book because... I liked it and it was kind of fluff. Sooo... what is there to say? Good characters, a fine story -- even a little bit of a "mystery" that carried through to a pretty satisfying end. Plus, it's set in the South and I have a weakness for southern lit, so... thumbs up!

I only had two little problems with it.

1. Some weird copy on the book jacket. This is not the fault of the author, but I almost rejected the book totally when I read this: "Few novels have explored, as this one does, the lush, unknown region of the feminine soul where the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic exists." First of all: Ew. Secondly: Really? Cause I feel like plenty of novels have "explored" that territory.

Again, not the author's fault, but it was seriously grody talk for what turned out to be a pretty good "self-discovery" novel (without much of the ickiness alluded to in that copy).

2. This is not an uncommon writing device, but I still do not like it -- frontloading the book with something that is going to happen later. I always feel like it's kind of a spoiler. And, while I actually don't mind "spoilers," I feel like they should have warnings.

The opening line of the novel:
"In the middle of my marriage, when I was above all Hugh's wife and Dee's mother, on of those unambiguous women with no desire to disturb the universe, I fell in love with a Benedictine monk.
"It happened during the winter and spring of 1988, though I'm only now, a year later, ready to speak of it. " [1]
It takes over 150 pages for her to hook up with that dude, but... you know it's going to happen the whole time! She already told you! Meanwhile, that was in a Prologue. Re-reading the first line of Chapter 1 now, I feel like it would have been a stronger opening to start with that.

More does happen after the hookup, so not everything is spoiled, but I still can't help but be a little irked.

As a random note... this book was apparently made into a Lifetime movie, the poster of which is to the left there. And... yeah. It's also pretty spoiler-y with Kim Basinger's come-hither look and the cross on that guy's neck. (Psssst! She's going to have a forbidden love affair with this here monk!!)

Overall review: Quick, enjoyable story. Decent chick novel/beach read.



1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry, but everything about this review cracked me up: The lush female soul, the affair with a monk (ew. just ew.), and the loose-flowing Bassinger locks. Oh boy.

    I have to say, I remember when all the Moms were reading The Thornbirds when we were kids. Sleeping with a priest is yucky no matter what in my book. I wonder if the fact that this dude is monk is supposed to soften the yuck factor?

    I often find the use of dramatic irony in the opening tiresome (think Moulin Rouge)---however, I will say that I learned the hard way to break the bad news about Anne Frank to the kids before we start reading. I mean, some of them didn't know SHE'S NOT GOING TO MAKE IT! And now I just flat out tell them. Heh.