Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Gift From The Sea-A Book Review


I don't often read a book more than once. This is an exception. The first time I read Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh was right after my youngest son left home. That would be about 20 plus years ago. I was entering into the 'empty-nest' life with my husband. I was searching for a new way to define my life. This book came highly recommended by a friend. The book did NOT speak to me at that time. Even though I WAS looking to find a way for that perfect balance in life and relationships. I no longer fit into the 'mother' season of life. I was now a 'empty-nester' and almost a new grandmother.

A few years after I finished reading this book, before I found my new place in the world, I was once again thrust into the world of being a mother. Back to taking kids to grade school. Of attending parent-teacher conferences, band concerts, buying the needed clothes and cooking for hungry kids. I would not ever again try to search for the relationship I should have with my husband without kids in the house. We became parents again. And he died before we had to struggle with the quietness of the empty-nest.

I found, once again,  I was wearing the mask of social life that Anne refers to when she is talking about the Channelled Whelk. That I was leaving behind the freedom and peace I was just beginning to discover. But, as a favorite person once reminded me, "it is what it is". And I survived!

In her book, Gift From The Sea, Anne Marrow Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth and age, love and marriage, solitude, peace, and contentment. She does this while she is on a vacation, alone, to a beach island. She likens different seasons of our lives to seashells: the Channelled Whelk, the Moon Shell,the Double Sunrise Shell, the Oyster Bed, and the Argonauta.  I have these seashells in my coffee table (a drawer that is topped with glass) so I can continue my search for balance. As I begin to once again enter the last stages of my life (women live an average of 83.9 years)I will continue to search!! Anne calls this stage 'the abandoned shell'.

Have you read this book? You should!

I give this book *****. Maybe because I love the beach so much! And maybe because I am reflecting on my life and where the next years will take me. This book was part of May's Book Club reading. I can't wait to discuss it! 

22 comments:

  1. I have read it, was moved by it and found so much to treasure. I hope to re-read it soon.

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  2. What an interesting analogy to use the shells! Very intriguing. I like that you have them in your coffee table drawer.

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    1. I really connect with the oyster shell Gram!!

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  3. I have not read them; but it sounds like I should read it (and soon). Interesting concept with the last season of life being referred to as an abandoned shell by her, but I can see that. Great review!

    betty

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    1. I think you will enjoy the book Betty!

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  4. I have not read this book but it sounds EXACTLY what I need to read right now in my life. Since the death of my mom I have been floundering a bit - probably for the first time in my life and I don't see an end in the near future. And maybe this searching is a stage in my life and I just don't recognize it. Thanks for the recommendation. I just visited Amazon and ordered it!!

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    1. I don't know if it will help you where you are 'right now' but I think you will find it inspiring!

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  5. I too have read it more than once and will probably read it again. It is very inspiring.

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  6. I haven't read it but I know my mom has it on her bookshelf. One of these days I will get around to it! Especially if I suggest it to my book club!

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    1. You should read it with the book club. I imagine it will spark some interesting conversation!

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  7. I checked this book out of my library a few weeks ago.

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    1. Did you enjoy it Vicki? I didn't care for it the first time I read it!

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  8. So it made more sense to you now? I guess you weren't ready for it before. Happens.

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    1. I don't know whether it made more sense to me now but it certainly resonated more with me now.

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  9. This is one of those books I've always heard of, but never its message. 'Sure like the analogy of likening life's seasons to seashells.

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  10. Yes, I have read this book but it has been many, many years ago. If I read it again, it will be like the first time. I remember loving it back then!

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