Customer Reviews for

A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

An Inspirational Read

Though I am not quite as old as Joan Anderson when she embarks on a journey to rediscover herself, I can completely relate to her need to redefine herself beyond the confines of "mother" and "wife". I admired her courage and her honesty. There's a lot that women of all...
Though I am not quite as old as Joan Anderson when she embarks on a journey to rediscover herself, I can completely relate to her need to redefine herself beyond the confines of "mother" and "wife". I admired her courage and her honesty. There's a lot that women of all ages and walks of life can learn from Ms. Anderson's account of her search to find herself.

posted by momoftwobys on July 1, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Banality, self-absorption & narcissism in a thousand metaphors

I read this memoir in one evening, not because it is gripping (it is not) but because it is short. I found myself praying that the shallow insights, endless banal metaphors, and self-absorbed ramblings of a privileged and narcissistic woman would finally lead to some us...
I read this memoir in one evening, not because it is gripping (it is not) but because it is short. I found myself praying that the shallow insights, endless banal metaphors, and self-absorbed ramblings of a privileged and narcissistic woman would finally lead to some useful insights. Perhaps, I thought, the author will be magically transformed into someone with whom I could actually enjoy spending an hour. I was disappointed. Joan Anderson writes of her own 'journey of self-discovery.' She comes off as a whiny wealthy woman who has spent her adult life gazing at her reflection in her husband, her sons, her work, and her friends. At the age of fifty, she does not like what she sees, or perhaps she simply doesn't want to recognize herself any longer. She escapes to her second home on Cape Cod for a year to indulge herself and make herself the center of her world - with no petty distractions such as family, friends, community, or responsibilities. In every person, task, tide, seashell, snowfall, seal, and grain of sand Anderson comes across, she again seeks (and finds) her reflection. She spends this year creating metaphors for herself. (I think I counted five on one page!) and smugly congratulating herself for her now open and conscious self-absorption. By the end of the year, she likes what she sees--so much so that she now offers workshops to help other women discover themselves. Many women have found this to be a life-changing book. I was not one of them. Perhaps I just could not identify with Anderson, and I guess I'm a little relieved by this. As the Kirkus review concludes, 'A less-than-enthralling journey of self-discovery marred by more than a touch of self-congratulation.' Pass on this one.

posted by Anonymous on September 2, 2006

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  • Posted July 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An Inspirational Read

    Though I am not quite as old as Joan Anderson when she embarks on a journey to rediscover herself, I can completely relate to her need to redefine herself beyond the confines of "mother" and "wife". I admired her courage and her honesty. There's a lot that women of all ages and walks of life can learn from Ms. Anderson's account of her search to find herself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2012

    I liked it'quick read.

    A Year by the Sea; the author’s personal record of a stale marriage and the process of self-discovery. The author walked us through the year it took for her to rediscover her true potential. Many women devoted to their family for years lose a bit of their true self and personal strenghts. This story reminds us of the need to expose ourselves to the opportunity of self-discovery and to release the untapped resources within ourselves.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Inspiring!

    I found this little book at a second-hand shop and was drawn to it because the title reminded me of Mrs. Lindbergh's book, "Gift From the Sea" which I had read and enjoyed. I've never stepped away from my life for a year -- most women don't have that option. But I very much relate to the need to step away and have done so for a few days here and there, or just a few hours -- taking a drive or a walk just to think, pray and be alone. I don't think I could have left my husband for as long as she did even if I could have, but everyone's journey is different. In the end, Joan became a better person for her experience and so did her husband. If her story can help other women in the same boat, then I'm glad she has shared it. I thought the experiences she had and the lessons learned were so important and meaningful. Too many people go through life pulled from one event or demand to another, rarely taking inventory of their lives. If you don't, how will you know if you've gotten off course and how will you correct it? Your life is controlling you instead of the other way around, if you never pay attention to the undercurrent in your life. I loved this book and am getting ready to dive into more of Joan's books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    A Year by the Sea

    I found the book very though provoking. It was an well written quick read. I would have loved to do the same when I was that age. I would like to read the next two books in the series

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2005

    Intriguing - yet left me wanting more

    This book, while it is filled with great wisdom, left me wanting more. I feel there are a lot of gaps in information shared & a lot left out. It was like reading a journal with a little hit and miss in recordings. I found myself rereading paragraphs or a page or two in order to follow what was happening or what the intent of the writer was. I truly did identily with much of what was written: the experiences, descriptons with nature, and I love the honesty shared. I feel the author held back and tried to make the book a little too simple. I suspect she has a lot more to give and watch for more in depth work from her in future writings.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2003

    Truly inspiring, a reread

    I read this book last year during my 48th year and loved it. I am rereading it now and am getting even more insight from it. I wish the author had included more information about her past, but any woman can relate to Joan's search for her authentic self. Due to the influence of this book, I have decided to take a few days and go to the beach by myself, something I would never have thought of doing before.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    sometimes this is what I would like to do

    good!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

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    Posted December 9, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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