i finished reading the mermaid chair (by sue monk kidd) this past weekend. when i was 2/3 through it, i’d posted (here) that, while i like her writing so much, i was fairly certain i wasn’t going to like how this book wrapped up. well, i was wrong. i suppose sue monk kidd wouldn’t be a bestselling author if she didn’t know how to land the plane. the book has massive themes of redemption and forgiveness and feminine-empowerment. lots of great god-stuff, too. but it wasn’t an easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy read for me: the main character’s awakening is wonderful and important and gives her new life. but she chooses a somewhat destructive path to get there. and the rub for me (and, really, if i’m being honest, the strength of the book and what makes it not just a simple cookie cutter story) is that i can’t tell if the author thinks that path was actually destructive or a mixture of beautiful-and-some-unfortunate-destruction. so, bottom line: i did really like the book, and it’s more loaded than a good potato skin with deeper levels of meaning and imagery. but it was not 100% settling for me — which, in the end, is part of its strength.