Jessie Sullivan has been married half her life, and has become accustomed to her role. But when she returns to the isolated island she grew up on to establish why her mother has been behaving oddly, she is to find a lot more than she came looking for. A loving, exuberant character, who believes herself to be happy, she has forgotten a hidden part of her spirit - the part represented by the beautiful, vibrant and legendary mermaid carved on a chair in the island's monastery. When Jessie falls passionately in love with a monk who is close to taking his final vows, she discovers a place in herself that she had never previously imagined could exist. THE MERMAID CHAIR is the story of a woman trying to save her outgrown life - the roles, identities, securities and illusions she had created for herself - before finally emerging as something far more alive and powerful.