Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Mermaid Chair

My grandmother lent me a copy of The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. If it belonged to me, I would have torn it to shreds, gnashed bits of it with my teeth, contemptuously spit on the rest and burned the remains. Like what I did to a couple of the “Left Behind” books--though for different reasons.

My main problem with The Mermaid Chair is that it glorifies the protagonist’s adultery, making it out to be some kind of unavoidable, courageous, live-giving act. The way adultery is portrayed so often in books and movies, it would seem our culture doesn’t consider it to be, necessarily, a bad thing. But it is. And to call evil good is a vile injustice.

If someone were to write a book or make a film wherein the protagonist is having a mid-life crisis, and decides to bravely throw caution to the wind, and allow his desire to overtake him and rapes a 16 year old girl, then slashes her to death, thus freeing himself from the shackles of a monotonous marriage and coming to that wondrous realization that he can do something that will surprise himself--oh, yes, and he has no regrets, because the act made him feel so “alive”--if someone, as I say, wrote such a thing, people would be utterly disgusted. And they would know how I feel about The Mermaid Chair.

1 comment:

Miranda said...

Wow. I liked Secret Life of Bees for the most part, so it's too bad this one is a dud. Thanks for saving me from what sounds like a waste of time. I'll stick with Austen.