A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman

A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman

4.4 45
by Joan Anderson
     
 

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Life is a work in progress, as unfinished and ever-changing as the sandy shoreline along the beach. A Year by the Sea is the entrancing story of how one woman emerged from a stagnant period, finding the energy to renew her marriage and the courage to persevere in the living of an unfettered life. See more details below

Overview

Life is a work in progress, as unfinished and ever-changing as the sandy shoreline along the beach. A Year by the Sea is the entrancing story of how one woman emerged from a stagnant period, finding the energy to renew her marriage and the courage to persevere in the living of an unfettered life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"I'm beginning to think that real growing only begins after we've done the adult things we're supposed to do," confides Anderson, a journalist and author of children's books (Twins on Toes, etc.). She came to this conclusion after a year living alone in a cottage on Cape Cod. Feeling that her marriage had stagnated by the time her two sons were grown, Anderson surprised and distressed her husband by refusing to move out-of-state with him when he accepted a new job. In this accessible memoir, she shares the joy and self-knowledge she found during her time of semi-isolation. In order to supplement the income from her royalty checks, she found a job in the local fish market and began making new friends who sustained her. After her hot water heater broke down and her husband refused to help, she earned the additional money for the repair by digging and selling clams. Through vivid and meticulous observations about the natural world, Anderson makes clear her strong affinity for the ocean, with its changing tides, subtle colors and burgeoning life. A Memorial Day reunion brought Anderson and her husband closer; shortly thereafter she embraced his plan to retire and live with her in the cottage. Anderson has recently begun a "Weekend by the Sea" program for women who need time to reflect. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Curling up with this autobiography will refresh readers' souls and adjust their attitudes. With their two sons grown and married, Anderson and her husband decided to take a "vacation" from their long marriage. Her husband moved on to a new job hundreds of miles away, while Anderson cocooned herself in her rusting Volvo and drove to her family's cottage on Cape Cod. During the year-long separation, Anderson reestablished her connection to nature and was able to discover new hope. She swam with seals, ran a marathon, worked in a fish market, and earned extra income clamming--activities that gave her the opportunity to shed her image as family nurturer and allowed her to grow as an independent woman. After a Memorial Day reunion, her husband retired from his job to live with Anderson on Cape Cod. Anderson's story reminds readers not to overlook their personal needs when providing for family members. This is a good choice for discussion and a companion piece to Anne Morrow Lindbergh's classic Gift from the Sea.--Joyce Sparrow, St. Petersburg P.L., FL
Kirkus Reviews
A touchy-feely finding-oneself memoir by a midlife woman who took a year off from her unfulfilling marriage and spent it in reflection by the sea. Anderson, a 50-year-old journalist and author of children's books (Harry's Helicopter,1990; 1787, 1987; etc.), refused to follow her husband when his job transferred him to another state, choosing instead to move alone to their summer cottage on Cape Cod and take stock of her life and marriage. Comparisons with Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea are inevitable: both are by women concerned with the creative life, both express a closeness to nature at the seashore, a kinship with other life forms, a response to the ebb and flow of the tides, and both find metaphors in seashells. However, whereas Lindbergh has only a brief holiday at the beach and finds universal themes, Anderson's sojourn is protracted and her focus narrow. Alone, she is self-reliant and self-conscious, adventurous, resourceful, and open. Not all her time is spent in solitude, however: she works in a fish market for extra money, finds a mentor and companion in the widow of psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, has house guests, including an old friend, a psychoanalyst, and a priest, hires on as short-term cook for a nephew's film crew, and entertains her husband, sons, and daughters-in-law over Memorial Day. At the year's end, she is more certain of who she is and what she wants. She is ready to live once again with her husband, not in the old stale marriage, but in a new and still-to-be-defined one. A less-than-enthralling journey of self-discovery marred by more than a touch of self-congratulation. .

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385491396
Publisher:
Random House, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/20/1999
Pages:
195
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 7.82(h) x 0.96(d)

Meet the Author

Joan Anderson is a journalist and the bestselling author of A Year by the Sea, A Walk on the Beach, The Second Journey, An Unfinished Marriage and A Weekend to Change Your Life. She has also written numerous children’s novels, including 1787, The First Thanksgiving Feast, and The American Family Farm, as well as a critically acclaimed adult nonfiction book Breaking the TV Habit. A graduate of Yale University School of Drama, Anderson lives with her husband on Cape Cod and conducts weekend workshops for women around the country.

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