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Gift from the Sea

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  44,248 ratings  ·  4,197 reviews
In this inimitable, beloved classic—graceful, lucid and lyrical—Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment as she set them down during a brief vacation by the sea. Drawing inspiration from the shells on the shore, Lindbergh’s musings on the shape of a woman’s life bring new understanding to both men and ...more
Paperback, 130 pages
Published January 30th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1955)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) I read it about 40 years ago, but it impressed me enough to seek out the author's "Bring Me a Unicorn." It also got me interested in seashells, and in…moreI read it about 40 years ago, but it impressed me enough to seek out the author's "Bring Me a Unicorn." It also got me interested in seashells, and influenced my own writing style. Not that I'll ever be published, but. AML and Rumer Godden are the two women who have most influenced me, and Ray Bradbury was the male writer who did. Now, there's a real mixture!(less)
Kim The middle years of a marriage, the struggle.

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 ·  44,248 ratings  ·  4,197 reviews

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Dec 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Jun 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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
I've really got to stop reading a book just based on the title and cover. I love the sea and the beach. During the fall and winter I go sea glass hunting North of Boston. It's my second passion to books. My house is filled with all types of sea shells and different shades of sea glass. My husband tells me I should make jewelry when I give up my current job.

I've got to say this book is quite outdated. It's all about women and their place in society. I don't need someone to tell me that females ne
Jan 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, book-club, classics
This was a great little memoir to read! With only 130 pages, it doesn't take too long to read. In fact, you can read it in chapters over a long period of time and you'll have no problems following along.

Most of all, I enjoyed the ideas and inspiration in this book by being more authentic with yourself and your life. To be okay with disappointment along with joy. To be more aware of your aloneness, thoughts while you are alone and being okay with those thoughts.

I loved how she wrote about living
Connie G
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Anne Lindbergh spent two weeks on Captiva Island in Florida, one week alone and one week with her sister, reflecting on her life and relationships. She uses five shells found on the beach to symbolize her ideas. She felt that women should try to simplify their lives. Find time for solitude, creativity, and an inner life. Have time alone with your spouse and each child for "one-and-only moments". Find balance between obligations to your family and your community, and time for inner harmony.

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.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote these musings in 1955, and it is definitely a capture in a moment of time, when roles for women were still assumed to be #1- marriage, #2 - having children, and #3 - taking care of the household. Lindbergh herself in the 20 year anniversary afterword in the version I have mused on how quickly roles and rights changed in her own lifetime, and how central women were to not only their own rights but other civil rights movements.

Still, even though I am not a mother or a h
Sandy T
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Cindy Rollins
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread, 2019, bookclub
I read this and all of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's diaries when I was a young wife. They were somewhat guides to life for me as a young bride. A guide from someone in tune to her inner and outer life. It is no surprise that the older I get the further back into the book I find insights. That is how it was written. This time I especially enjoyed the add-on chapter Gift from the Sea re-opened. Especially this passage:

"When I wrote Gift from the Sea, I was still in the stage of life called "the oyster
Bark  |  Laurie  |  LOHF
I found this audio in the bag I keep in the car. It's a nonfiction account of one woman’s ruminations on life while she escapes to a beach cottage for a few weeks. This was written in the 50's but much of it still feels eerily current and will resonate most with introverts.

The MP3 player in my car didn’t like the way this disc was formatted and played the tracks out of order so I can’t review this properly as it kept skipping around. If it weren’t so short (2 hrs or so) I would’ve thrown in the
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
On my third reading of Gift from the Sea, I continue to be amazed at how immediately relevant this 1950's classic feels. Anne Morrow Lindbergh takes us with her on her two week sabbatical to a Florida island, where she slowly unravels the tangled busyness of her life as wife, mother, and writer. She eloquently describes the constant tension between her roles in life, the demands and expectations of society, and her own yearning for solitude and creativity.

It's not a difficult read; on vacation,
♥ Sandi ❣
3 stars

This is a very short non-fiction by Anne Lindbergh. I listened to this on audio. It was adapted to a movie in 1960. An anniversary copy of the book has an introduction by her daughter, Reeve. The audio is narrated by Claudette Colbert, a famous actress from the 50's and 60's.

Lindbergh spoke from the heart. During a vacation on a Florida shore she muses about life's many wonders as she relates them to the shore and sea shells. She speaks on love, marriage, children, solitude and contentme
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Anne Bogel
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I can't believe I put off reading this one for so long. Short, sweet, timeless. Reminds me very much of Eleanor Roosevelt's You Learn by Living (and I LOVE that book). ...more
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I started listening, a part of me thought,’s going to be one of those women’s “self help” books. But it turned out to be anything but that. Written in 1955, many of the topics such as a woman’s strength and resilience, and the need for moments of solitude necessary for growth and understanding, still resonate today. The author reflects on these subjects while on vacation, collecting shells on a beach and contemplating the different phases of a woman’s life. It’s a book that would be ...more
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-in-2017
Scrounging around for a short book this morning, I came across this on the hallway bookshelf. Long ago, my great aunt had it on her table. I remember her telling me how wonderful it was. But this is not her copy. I opened it. The signature inside was my wife's grandmother's. What looks to be a first edition from 1955.

1955! Life must have been so simple then. The good old I-Like-Ike days, after the (World) war and before the (Vietnam) war. I started to read. At first, it seemed similar to Walden-
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes of being a woman in America in the fifties. She compares different stages of marriage to different shells. The writing is beautiful, poignant, wise and the message clear. It is prose poetry. She speaks of the need for simplification in a world cluttered with obligations and gadgets. She speaks of what can be gained by allowing one to withdraw and find inner solace within one's self. How creativity replenishes the soul. She quotes among others John Donne, Antoine de S ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
This book is a collection of essays by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, published first in 1955. Although many years have passed after its publication, I believe many women can relate to her thoughts and feelings reflected in her book. She uses simile of sea and sea-shells to describe life, motherhood, marriage, coming of age. The book is written almost in a whispering tone; like the waves of a calm sea gently brushing the shore. Very soothing read..

One of the passages I enjoyed reading in the book is : '
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. ...more
Diane in Australia
Anne, the wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh, has written many books. This one covers her thoughts during a vacation by the ocean. She uses the sea, and its treasures, to 'speak' to her regarding life. 'Tis an introspective journey, meant to help all of us, as we read.

3 Stars = Okay. Maybe not a page-turner, but not sorry I read it.

(My apologies for such a short review. I'm struggling with a few things, at the moment, and just can't seem to find the presence of mind to write longer reviews.)
I was introduced to this book via a chapter in Will Schwalbe's book "Books for Living". How lucky I am to have found it.

It speaks VOLUMES to women of middle age and even though I am past that, it spoke volumes to me.

Here are some descriptions from Will:
This is one of those books I’d heard about and seen on countless shelves, especially in, predictably enough, beach cottages. The author was the widow of aviator Charles Lindbergh and the mother of the baby who had been so notoriously kidnapped and
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Except for my little book club of two (what my friend referred to yesterday as a tête-à-tête), this is not something I would’ve even considered reading. I’d vaguely thought of it as maybe a self-help book, certainly a saccharine read, but it’s neither. It’s one woman’s meditation on the role of women through the stages of life and, in particular, how an artist with a family can claim a space of her own, a sort of practical extension of Woolf’s A Room of One's Own.

I finished it a week ago and whi
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The PERFECT words for my journey of rounding my 50th year.
Wish I could thank Anne Morrow Lindbergh in person. I hope somehow she knows.
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was chosen by my book club, otherwise I wouldn't have read it. To be honest, I just couldn't wax philosophical with Anne. All I could think about when Anne was discussing marriage and women's roles was about her personal life and the affairs both she and Charles had. I'm not judging them, only they know what went on in their marriage, but, at the same time, I didn't find myself inclined to take marriage advice from her. I thought it was strange that she kept quoting Antoine de Saint-Ex ...more
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
Received this gem of a book yesterday. Not only is it a visually beautiful book the writing is also beautiful. How did I miss this classic for so many years? A book that is great for any stage of life. Filled with wisdom I love how Mrs. Lindbergh uses a gift from the sea for each chapter. The comparison and insight of life to a shell is so beautiful! This is a book I will read more than once a year and one that I will give to my family anad friends. Absolutely love it!
Lisa Kay
★★★★★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.
This book was dated and wonderful in about equal measure. It was written in 1955, so it certainly does have some excuse for the dated piece. The musings about women/men gender roles and super trad/middle class marriage and women’s “natural” whatever are eyerolly , though I get it in context. There’s also some stuff that makes you go “Wait ten years hon! You just hang on!” so that kind of condescending ra-ra popping into my head also means that I wasn’t listening either. Some of the metaphors are ...more
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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

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