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An Unfinished Marriage an Unfinished Marriage an Unfinished Marriage
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An Unfinished Marriage an Unfinished Marriage an Unfinished Marriage

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  802 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
In this moving sequel to her national bestseller "A Year by the Sea," Joan Anderson explores the challenges of rebuilding and renewing a marriage with her trademark candor, compassion, andinsight.
With "A Year by the Sea," Joan Anderson struck a chord in many tens of thousands of readers. Her brave decision to take a year for herself away from her marriage, her frankassess
ebook, 224 pages
Published March 11th 2003 by Broadway Books (first published March 12th 2002)
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Rebecca Foster
Jan 16, 2017 Rebecca Foster rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
This sequel to A Year by the Sea sees the author trying to adjust to living with her husband Robin in their Cape Cod home again after a one-year marriage “sabbatical.” It’s a time full of moody ups and downs for both of them – and she’s brave to show her own failures of kindness and understanding here – but by the end you feel that they’ve found a way to move forward in companionship even after the passion of a 30-year relationship is long gone. One thing Anderson emphasizes is that “the only ...more
May 26, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Due to computer problems, I've been "mostly" at the library and doing a best efforts to do my work and go home. However, I had the urge to browse and in doing so, sitting on the shelf was Joan Anderson's, An Unfinished Marriage. I've read A Year by the Sea twice and Thoughts of An Unfinished Woman. I loved both.

Yet,this is Joan Anderson's finest work (in my humble opinion). I read it almost from start to finish and please forgive my dating - I still haven't figured out the ins and outs of Goodr
Oct 21, 2009 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Joan Anderson's book "A Year by the Sea" and I was very happy to see that she had written another book about her life. I wasn't disappointed with this novel and read it in one sitting. I have come to the conclusion that either you like this writing style, a memoir with a homey feel, or you don't. With that said, what this book is, is Joan's opinions about her life and her observations about her marriage. This book won't appeal to everyone. Not everyone will agree with her opinions and ma ...more
Sonya Feher
Aug 13, 2009 Sonya Feher rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
An Unfinished Marriage is Anderson's follow up memoir to A Year by the Sea, which told the story of her sabbatical from her marriage as she tried to find her way back to herself. Now, she's back with her husband as they try to remember what brought them together originally, what they have in common, and how to make a life with each other now that their boys are grown and out of the house. My experience of this book was much like her last. Though I am fascinated by the concept, Anderson's traditi ...more
Dec 03, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoughtful read.

A Year By the Sea and An Unfinished Marriage are both thoughtful reads. They put words to some things I have been feeling but couldn't express. Uncomfortable at times, and enlightening and thought-provoking.
Sep 28, 2014 Patrick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Regina Spiker
"Trauma, problem solving, crisis - all those dark spots that we try to avoid - may be just what relationships need to keep them bubbling along. it occurs to me that we spend most of our lives learning how to avoid difficulty in order to project an image of confidence and success, thus losing the chance to expose our vulnerable selves, one to another.

"I can't believe it - 32 years with the same person! It's almost ridiculous," I jest. but that's just it, he answers, solemnly. We're not the same
Cheryl D
Mar 03, 2017 Cheryl D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had a read this as a much younger woman I don't think I would have been ready for the wonderful wisdom and reflection contained between these two covers. But as a 55 yo woman whose marriage is also in the midst of changes and reformation, well, it couldn't have come at a better time. I starred passages, underlined and copied them to my husband and friends who love me. It made me decide to work harder on trying to figure out new ways of relating to replace the stale ones we have munched on for th ...more
Feb 24, 2011 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, memoir
Another wonder by a favorite author of mine. I love her wisdom. So many quotables exist. After living alone in A Year By the Sea, Joan and her husband begin the task of reassembling their lives together.

pg. 46 "After a time, life with another should not be about gazing at each other, but instead looking outward together at the same sight."

pg. 102 "The damnable thing about married children is their enormous need to create boundaries around their space. It's a veritable mine field we're meant to w
Jul 10, 2009 Jacki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being fairly new to this marriage business (we've been married just over a year), it was so interesting to hear a perspective from the other end. Joan and Robin had been married for 30 years when she got fed up and needed to be solo. I guess that was the subject of her last book, which I never read.

This book is what happened after that- her first year rejoined with her husband.

Her thoughts and ideas about marriage and life and children and friends were just delicious and so true. I hate reading
This is the perfect book for women, and some men, who are ready to renegotiate the terms of a relationship that has lasted decades. I would particularly recommend this book to empty nesters who are trying to reinvent themselves while working through the murky waters of relationships with their adult children.
Joan Anderson is honest, unafraid to share -- and lay bare --- her daily diary of a second attempt at marriage, with the same person. It is poignant at times, frustrating or boring at other
Jan 21, 2013 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I dog-eared so many pages in this book because there are pearls of wisdom in every Chapter. Following her year of solitude away from her family, Joan and her husband reunite. The book is sticky and raw and honest as she describes the challenges that come with trying to reconcile a marriage when you are so independent.

There were times when I felt like she was being whiny, complaining, not giving things a chance, but when i think about how tough relationships can be, I was more understanding abou
Sandra Pitaniello
I loved this book. It's the sequel to her first book "A Year By The Sea". I give both books 5 stars. These books are nonfiction. Joan Anderson's first book is about her one year journey while living in a small vacation cottage that was used for summers only. Joan had spent most of her married life raising children, cooking, having parties and supporting her husband in his work. When the "empty nest" was firmly in place her husband came home one day and said he had taken a position in another sta ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This is the sequel to A Year by the Sea in which Joan does what I imgaine the majority of middle aged women would like to do but may not have the means to accomplish it. We have spent a good 20 to 30 years nuturing others but don't really know who we are, what makes us tick or how to take care of us. After a year of self discovery Joan is reuniting with her husband Robin who is now retired. After over 30 years of marriage they rediscover each other, they realize a genuine caring, kindness and fr ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Debbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This sequel to A Year By the Sea is mildly interesting if just to learn what happens to her marriage, but Anderson's writing takes on a whiny tone that I found irritating. She describes herself glowingly as the adventurous optimist and her dear husband as the depressed pessimist, but through the entire book she whines and complains about everything he does or doesn't do. She is super critical and controlling! I found the chapter where she writes about entertaining a group of their long time coup ...more
Aug 14, 2012 Alysia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like the continuation of what happened to her relationship from her first memoir. I tire of hearing of people "looking inward" and then discovering that their marriage isn't worth saving. Sometimes it might not be... but I'm glad that she decided hers was. As did her husband. He had a great line at the end of this book about how a man honors his marriage says something about the man in particular. There were some pieces of advice that I agree with. Only having been married for a dozen years, I ...more
Dec 30, 2009 Gloria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An appropriate sequel to Anderson's A Year By the Sea-- where she took a year "away" from her husband to rediscover herself after 30+ years of marriage.
This book deals with the following year, where they come back together ... residual bitterness and slight misunderstandings still hovering. But it's beautiful in that it offers such a picture of grace and reality. It wasn't all romance and reconnection once together again. It was patience, perseverance, realizations, and adapting.

My favorite lin
Mary Novaria
Feb 20, 2011 Mary Novaria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good one by Joan Anderson... filled with self-realization, forgiveness and acceptance. How many couples look at each other after the kids are grown and gone--or even before--and wonder: "Now what?" It's a gift that Anderson (as well as her husband) is willing to share her personal story of almost giving up, then finding her way back to friendship, affection and happiness in a 30-plus year marriage. This book is like a meditation, slowly unfolding against the landscape of Cape Cod. Anders ...more
Jan 22, 2012 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And then I went on to read Joan Anderson’s second book, An Unfinished Marriage in which she mentions Gerald May’s The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love You Need. This author also wrote, Addiction and Grace. Anderson also quotes from Marion Woodman’s, The Pregnant Virgin: “If we have lived behind a mask all our lives, sooner or later – if we are lucky – that mask will be smashed. Then we will have to look in the mirror at our own reality” (119).

Hopefully I will find more tidbits for th
Oct 30, 2012 Sheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read "A year by the sea" and grabbed this book. It's a sequel to the other book, the secong half of the story...
Joan and Robin have decided to give their marriage a go, after she decided in favor of a year's seperation ((not knowing how long it would be, but it ended up being a year) They are having their struggles in the small cottage on the cape, as every couple has in every cape!
The book is written in her refreshing honest clear way, introspective and sometimes sad and sometimes humorou
Oct 20, 2009 Eileen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting follow-up to A Year by the Sea. And fortunately I finished one book and started the next seamlessly. The growth of a woman "finding" who she was by herself, then settling back into her marriage. Both she and her husband had to work out how their lives would once again join to become one. Retirement can be especially hard for men, I think, when they find they have a feeling of losing their identity or self-worth. How am I so lucky to have a husband who doesn't have these issues! We lo ...more
Jul 18, 2011 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This followup to A Year by the Sea is simply okay. Good points include the introduction of the husband, and he and Joan exploring the aspects of this new chapter in their lives. Again, Anderson's writing is subtle, and the book is far, far too short to delve deep into some of the necessary components to rebuilding a marriage. Yet that almost makes it seem more truthful: sometimes, life doesn't have big whiz-bang moments as much as it has a string of small happenings and observations, connected t ...more
Sharon donilon
It is like reading my own story has how my marriage was missing substance. She also talks about how her marriage was in the beginning and how slowly it lost the lust. She took a year break from her marriage and husband to regain herself and how hard it was to work on getting it back as it was in the beginning. This is how so many marriages loose what they once had by everyday life. Still reading and havent yet found out the outcome of if she and her husband really were able to put it back as it ...more
Jul 13, 2010 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a thought provoking and inspiring account of how one woman is negotiating the seasoning of her marriage. Some of it didn't seem entirely genuine--I couldn't believe that she really remembers all of the details that she recounts. But I still found it moving, and her overriding theme is one that I can learn from--that we are responsible for our own growth as human beings, and our partners are there to share our progress with us.
Aug 31, 2009 Thewritingmommy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i couldn't imagine doing what she did. i enjoyed the book and at the same time, i couldn't understand her. i felt she was being selfish at first and almost didn't finish the book, but then, i began to see how my mom would have benefited from such honesty with herself, and indeed how we all could benefit from it. I haven't had a "year by the sea" but i did enjoy the book and new considerations it brought.
Aug 04, 2009 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This bestseller is by the same woman who wrote another bestseller--"A Year by the Sea"--it is about the author's efforts to mend her marriage after a year of seclusion, while she was trying to "find herself." There are some great insights about marriage and relationships with adult children in the book--but the conversations seem so unreal--stilted speeches, not the way that people speak--that I found myself sighing and shaking my head in disbelief as I read it.
Jul 17, 2012 pea. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I do not remember her being quite so annoying in her previous book... it seems to me that she, like is many, is reaching for inspiration, meaning and the like thru quotes and the like and not getting off their butts and saying and doing what needs to be said and done. odd because she did so in previous book.
Mar 30, 2011 Xunnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as I was working through a rough patch in my own marriage and I loved the hope and the strength that Joan showed in her writing. A quick, fairly easy read. And one that I ended up blogging about. I loved that Joan reminds us to think in longer, broader terms sometimes and to realize that there are many facets to a relationship.
Sep 04, 2014 Vicki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The message in this book is one that we hear frequently but I think do not always think about what it really entails, but it is a message worth heeding especially in this day and age. Again Joan's book is like talking with a good friend who is willing to be vulnerable by sharing her thoughts and struggles with you.
May 14, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marriage
A well written book. I only wish I could have agreed with the author more. After 12 years of marriage and 2 children, I think I have enough experience to say that Anderson's conclusions about middle aged marriage don't have to be so humdrum and lacking in passion. She had so many other insightful things to say. I was disappointed when I came to the end.
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Ever since I can remember I have been curious—asking questions, trying to figure out life’s meaning—all in an effort to live fully and get it right. My career began as a stringer reporter for the Gannett newspaper chain. As I practiced the craft of writing, I moved on to photo essays books for children, then the breakthrough book, Breaking the TV Habit, and finally into the genre of memoir. The la ...more
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