Kidd, Sue Monk. The Mermaid Chair.
I really wanted to like this one. Kidd's prose is lovely and there are places that seem to be longing to be read aloud. The plot, however, and the characters seemed too pat. Annoyingly so.
The novel seemed three-dimensional only in the sense of a diorama. (As I wrote that, I remembered that Jessie used the term diorama in an attempt to describe her art). There was apparent depth, but it lacked resonance.
Religious and mythical symbolism is all over the place, and while it is great fun to pick up on symbolism, when the symbolism is spoon-fed over and over, it becomes difficult to swallow.
Was that all that annoyed me? No. The plot itself grated.
[SPOILER] Falling in lust with a monk is one thing, but love at first sight? And a monk? How wonderful that this interlude allowed her to regain her "self" and inspired her art and gave her marriage a new lease on life and somehow leads to an understanding of her mother's penchant for self-mutilation, but only after her self-absorption has kept her from recognizing her mother's increasing desperation resulting in the loss of another digit, and...
Fiction. Romance? 2005. 332 pages.