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Gift from the Sea
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Gift from the Sea

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  22,548 ratings  ·  2,132 reviews
This small book of great and simple wisdom has spoken to hundreds of thousands of readers, and continues to influence women's lives. In her afterword, Anne Morrow Lindbergh reflects on a world totally unchanged in the profound need in women for self-realization; the need for each woman to learn and relearn the painful lesson that "woman must come of age by herself--she mus ...more
Paperback, 20th Anniversary Edition, 140 pages
Published 1975 (first published 1955)
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Rachael
This is one of those books that really will change your life, and it's one that absolutely should.

Lindberg (the wife of Charles Lindberg) explores the necessity of not only looking inward, but of focusing on one's development in order to fully live as a person, a woman, a mother, and a wife. She is especially potent when discussing the necessity of occasional moments of solitude in order to realign one's priorities and give freedom to creative expression, rather than running oneself ragged with
...more
Kristin
I absolutely LOVE this book!! I highly highly recommend it. It is the perfect gift to give a friend/sister/mother or to buy for yourself to read and re-read. It is also a really quick read which is a nice little bonus. If you want a really professional review read Lucy's. (I really think Lucy should become a book critic). But here's what I thought about it...this was my second time reading the book. The first time I read it I was around 18 and getting ready to leave for college. My mom had read ...more
Joel
Feb 28, 2008 Joel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joel by: Eugene Peterson
I love walking around a bookstore and picking up five or six books of varying genres that catch my eye, sitting down and skimming. If I'm interested I may read a chapter or two, a dozen poems, maybe even ponder buying it before I put them all back on the shelf. This was number four in a stack of nine that I picked up today at Borders. After skimming the introduction, I flipped to the first chapter... forty-five minutes later I had left the store to get a pen from my car and had picked up three n ...more
Sandy T
I remember reading this at BYU for a class and having to do a paper on it. I remember wondering what all the hoopla was about it... it just didn't do all that much for me. But now, some 30+ years later, it had a whole new meaning for me as I truly understood and felt exactly what she was expressing...
It is amazing that though this book was written over 50 years ago, so many of her observations still ring true today, and I found myself marking up page after page. Perhaps the most I got from it wa
...more
Audra
Jan 15, 2009 Audra rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who isn't me
so...reading this book, in places, made me long to go back to Atlantic Beach, made me go back and read my diaries of New York.

I thought carefully about whether my strongly adverse feelings about this book were actually warranted or not. I have decided that there is a middle ground I must take here.

Here's my unabashed assessment, untainted by the millions of people who seem to LOVE this book:

if you've already lived the hard life, and come through it, worse for the wear but better in soul, don't
...more
Inder
Okay, my favorite part of this book was the afterwards, wherein Ms. Lindbergh acknowledges just how dated the book's appraisal of feminism was (the book was written in 1955, so you can't blame her for what she didn't know was right around the corner - still, her somewhat negative appraisal bugged me and I was relieved that she acknowledged its problems). She also hints at how difficult it is to follow her type of super-zen advice in real life.

I hate to say it, because so many women just L.O.V.E.
...more
Linda
I'm sure I read Gift from the Sea at least 30 years ago and have probably bought and given away as many as thirty copies over the years. Gift from the Sea is one of those books that speaks to a person differently through different stages of one's life. I love it and think every woman should read it. I have since read other books (memoirs, diaries, letter of sorts) by Anne M. Lindbergh and have enjoyed them very much. I was happy to come across the 50th anniversary edition as a gift to myself.
Lisa Kay
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★★★★★I loved this book. My mom gave it to me as a gift when I was a teen and I've read it a couple of times. Still relevant today. Beautifully read by Claudette Colbert.
Gloria
I think I moderately enjoyed this book as a 20-something young mother. But with an extra goodly number of years on my body, I now adore this book.

I feel keenly that Anne Morrow Lindbergh is a kindred spirit.
And if there are as many women as she insinuates who also feel that desperate need to "get away" in order to recharge and refuel-- so that they may come home ready to give again ... then there are more women like me than I thought. I wish I knew where they were...

In any case, it has reaffirme
...more
Hillary
I may be the only person on mother earth that thinks this book is over-rated. I've read it twice now and I just don't get what everyone thinks is so amazing about it. Lindbergh does bring up some interesting ideas that are worth thinking about, but she loses me with the sea shells. I agree with Becca in that, if i want to read something thought provoking with the potential to change my life, i'll read the conference talks in the ensign.
Shiloah
I finished this book & am glad for the chance to take it off my to-read list. What a treasure.

So much of this book has relevance in my life today. In the three months leading up to our big move to Europe I had everything planned out like clockwork. Not knowing all that would happen on the "other side of the ocean" or how long it would take to get settled, I had to leave it up to a flexible plan. However, sometimes our "flexible" plans are clung to too tightly and then unnecessary stress occu
...more
Ann Keller
This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. In concise, philosophical and thought-provoking language, Anne Morrow Lindbergh provides the reader with wonderful revelations of what it’s like to be a modern woman. As the wife of Charles Lindbergh, she certainly felt the constraints of public engagements and social events, as well as the demands of being a wife and busy mother of five children. Perhaps that is why she was able to provide such a keen insight into the value of solitude and creativit ...more
Chrystal
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Her writing is soothing, enlightening, and full of wisdom and beauty.

Some of my favorite quotes:
Woman's life today is tending more and more toward the state William James describes so well in the German word, "Zerrissenheit--torn-to-pieces-hood." She cannot live perpetually in "Zerrissenheit." She will be shattered into a thousand pieces. On the contrary, she must consciously encourage those pursuits which oppose the centrifugal forces of today. Quiet time alone,
...more
Cathy DuPont
Read so many years ago but still remember how much I loved Anne Morrow's writing, these essays.

I read it when everyone was reading "self-improvement" and books of inspiration like Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. The market was flooded with both genres but at the moment none of the names come to mind.

So who cares? I've forgotten what I learned in the self improvement books.
Mark Mortensen
The title of this book “Gift from the Sea”, shelved in the classic section, caught my immediate attention as I love the sea and then my eye noticed the author, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The wife, who lived in the shadows of famed aviator Charles Lindberg, lost her first born to abduction, was an English major at Smith College and became a well accomplished person in her own right. I was further drawn to understand the sea’s gift.

The beach along the sea is a calm location to pause and reflect upon
...more
Rachel Wagner
Just finished again. How I love this book. I can relate to her emotions in leaving the island to a time in my life when an island rescued me in the same way.
I love how she talks about love, change, solitude, community, femininity and freedom. They are the words I would use if I was as eloquent.
Some favorites-
“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patienc
...more
Kristen
Amazing. The fact that this was written in another generation yet still applies so seamlessly (and will for generations) is just a mark of its timelessness. A poignant, sit-and-ponder compilation of meanderings without being preachy or trite. You just feel like you're sitting with the author over a cup of tea, as she looks off in the distance and remembers/ponders. This is one I must buy and want to read again and again as I grow. Both the quasi-women's rights, quasi-futureSAHM parts of me relis ...more
SCLS Librarian Miss Jenna
I just re-read this classic and it's surprising to see how relevant Anne Morrow Lindbergh's observations are to today's woman. The problems and challenges she describes in the mid 1950's are even more true today--how to be a whole woman when divided between husband, children, work, friends and community. Her suggestions of an hour of solitude daily and vacations on one's own reminded me of the modern trend of meditation and certain retreats. Overall, I liked this book and I was comforted in know ...more
Juanita
This book was recommended to me and I'm glad I read it!
There were some soul-stirring truths written by this great woman, Ann Lindbergh of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping (she was the child's mother). By the time she'd written this book, she'd gained a lifetime of wisdom and understood the path that needed to be traversed to get to the best place of her life.
It's an encouraging read and one that made me want to be a better person.
Jackie Whaley
I finished this book in one sitting as there was a theme and I didn't want to lose the continuity. The book is short, but full of musings of love and life and stages of life. This is a book I will pick up again and again over time, and ponder the application of its words to my life. As she writes ... "One never knows what chance treasures these unconscious rollers may toss up, on the smooth white sand of the conscious mind, what perfectly rounded stone, what rare shell from the ocean floor. ... ...more
Rebecca Trujillo Batty
I believe this book was mentioned in The Poisonwood Bible, which is why I took the time to read it. It was ok. I did like the comparisons she made from the different shells to life, but felt that it was dated. She does admit this in the "re-opened" section at the end of the book. Some true statements I found in this book are:

pg.39: "Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim."

pg. 58:
...more
Sydney
Aug 05, 2008 Sydney rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Therese, Lisa, Michelle, Tara, Shawna, Kristy, Amy, Lacey, Diane, Brigitte, Faith, Andrea, Holli
What a little gem of a book! I've had this one sitting on my shelf for at least 8 years. I can't remember if I recieved it for a graduation gift from college or grad school. For some reason I picked it up this weekend and I'm so glad I did. It was a very soothing read. What struck me is the book was written in 1955, yet the thinking is quite progressive. The author speaks of what women need to do to make sure they don't lose themselves in daily life. There's talk of taking time for yourself away ...more
Kiersten Lawson
I discovered this little book at a beach house in Yachats, OR. A bit simplistic but resonant, particulary since I read it as it was written: in solitude at the sea.

"Yeats once said that the supreme experience of life was 'to share profound thought and then to touch.' But it takes both."
"And when we are tired of walking, we lie flat on the sand under a bowl of stars. We feel stretched, expanded to take in their compass. They pour into us until we are filled with stars, up to the brim. One thirsts
...more
Rose
Incredibly, this little book written in 1955 is just as meaningful today as it was then and since. The need for each woman to learn and relearn that she "must come of age by herself-she must find her true center alone". At all ages and stages of her life.

Favorite:

"The problem is not merely one of Woman and Career, Woman and the Home, Woman and Independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal force
...more
Jed
Jun 02, 2009 Jed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of simplicity and healthful thoughts
Recommended to Jed by: Jaynie
Surprising as it may seem, there is much to be gleaned here for males as well as females. While I was acutely aware of my "contrasting equipment" throughout, (much like sitting in on a baby shower or afternoon bridge party that my gender wasn't invited to) I was still much given to the ideas expressed here.

I can't be the first to call this the woman's Walden, but I was most impressed by this notion. And this came without the musings on governance, economy, and the life and traffic patterns of re
...more
Charyce
Jan 09, 2008 Charyce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every woman
Recommended to Charyce by: Jackie Goddard and Caroline Brock
In Anne Morrow Lindburg's book A Gift From The Sea, she describes her insights into the complexity of womanhood and life as she discovered them in a brief vacation by the sea.

She helps us see ways to reconcile our most deeply personal needs with obligations to family, friends, lovers, and work, ways to separate loneliness from replenishing solitude, and ways to find solace in the simplest of daily tasks.

It is a book that has brought me peace many times when I have felt afflicted by the many need
...more
Bennet
How, Anne asks, does one "remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced," and most of all, where and how does one find solitude? The realm of solitude is intimately explored through her mid-life retreat to "a sea-shell of a house" on a remote shore, which anyone likewise yearning will find impossible to resist, even if it's available only in print.

"One learns first of all in beach living the art of shedding; how little one can get along with, not how much," someth
...more
Autumn
a precious gift.. for literature such as this, is that my soul never gives up on finding comfort in literature.

Even as 50+ yrs have past since this book was first written, is enlightening to see that each an every essay can still resonate with today`s world... that no matter how we seem to think we evolve, we still struggle to maintain our selves aligned with our axis. challenges change, but never the root of them. I think that was the gift i took with me when reading this book.
Mary Ellen
I love this because my mom loves it & because she put it by the bed at the cottage so while you're escaping reality in Northern Michigan, you can drift off into this book for snippets at a time. I feel like any good book can make you picture a scene, even years later, and I can easily picture Ann Lindberg at her beach house writing this honest, simple book. A classic that I'm so happy to know.
Lisa Nelson
Jul 14, 2008 Lisa Nelson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Women
Recommended to Lisa by: Cher and Michelle
Shelves: non-fiction
(4 1/2)What a perfect summer read. It was a short easy read, yet very thought-provoking. I felt like I've thought about a lot of the points the author brought up, but could never express myself as elequently as she does. Every women should read this book, it was a great reminder to me about the things that really matter to me. I loved her chapters on simplifying, marriage and solitude.
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Recommended! 11 98 Oct 15, 2014 07:21PM  
Reader's Ink: August's Book 7 15 Aug 31, 2013 10:45AM  
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Anne Morrow Lindbergh was born in 1906. She married Charles Lindbergh in 1929 and became a noted aviator in her own right, eventually publishing several books on the subject and receiving several aviation awards. Gift from the Sea, published in 1955, earned her international acclaim. She was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and the Aviation Hall ...more
More about Anne Morrow Lindbergh...
Bring Me a Unicorn: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1922-1928 Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries and Letters, 1929-1932 North to the Orient Wisdom from Gift from the Sea [With Silver-Plated Charm] Locked Rooms Open Doors: Diaries And Letters Of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1933-1935

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“The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere.” 1248 likes
“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”
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