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Gift from the Sea: 50th Anniversary Edition [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 8 1991
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 women at any stage of life. A mother of five, an acclaimed writer and a pioneering aviator, Lindbergh casts an unsentimental eye on the trappings of modernity that threaten to overwhelm us: the time-saving gadgets that complicate rather than simplify, the multiple commitments that take us from our families. And by recording her thoughts during a brief escape from everyday demands, she helps readers find a space for contemplation and creativity within their own lives.

With great wisdom and insight Lindbergh describes the shifting shapes of relationships and marriage, presenting a vision of life as it is lived in an enduring and evolving partnership. A groundbreaking, best-selling work when it was originally published in 1955, Gift from the Sea continues to be discovered by new generations of readers. With a new introduction by Lindbergh’s daughter Reeve, this fiftieth-anniversary edition will give those who are revisiting the book and those who are coming upon it for the first time fresh insight into the life of this remarkable woman.

The sea and the beach are elements that have been woven throughout Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s life. She spent her childhood summers with her family on a Maine island. After her marriage to Charles Lindbergh in 1929, she accompanied him on his survey flights around the North Atlantic to launch the first transoceanic airlines. The Lindberghs eventually established a permanent home on the Connecticut coast, where they lived quietly, wrote books and raised their family.

After the children left home for lives of their own, the Lindberghs traveled extensively to Africa and the Pacific for environmental research. For
several years they lived on the island of Maui in Hawaii, where Charles Lindbergh died in 1974.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh spent her final years in her Connecticut home, continuing her writing projects and enjoying visits from her children and grand-children. She died on February 7, 2001, at the age
of ninety-four.

Reeve Lindbergh is the author of many books for both adults and children, including the memoirs Under a Wing and No More Words.

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I found a 1955 printing of this book in an old waterfront cabin and was struck by the care with which the previous owner had read it. Eve (the name inscribed inside the front cover and then again above the heading for chapter 3) made pencil marks on nearly every paragraph of the book, underlining a phrase, highlighting many passages with strong vertical marks, scratching out some words that she seems to have found superfluous and even x-ing out whole sections that apparently missed their mark with her altogether. Two rusting paper clips isolate several pages, absent any marking at all. Anne Morrow Lindbergh's lyrical words are still relevant and presage so many of the themes of today's most popular books: simplicity, peaceful solitude, caring for the soul, a woman finding her place in society and life. I heard that the woman who had lived in the cabin had actually passed away some time before. Thank you, Eve, for your gift... from the sea. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Reeve Lindbergh is the author of many books for both adults and children, including the memoirs Under a Wing and No More Words.

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The beach is not the place to work; to read, write or think. Read the first page
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gift from the Sea Sept. 29 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My good friend gave me a copy and I totally enjoyed the insights to human nature. You need to read this in a quiet place.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all ages Aug. 13 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to women of all ages. It is packed with wonderful insights for every stage of our lives. I have purchased 3 more of these books for my own adult daughters and for a dear friend. It is a book that you want to keep in your library and refer to often.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Self-help without the jargon May 22 2000
Format:Paperback
This title was a recent selection for a book discussion group that I helped organize for my library. As the only male in the group, I felt somewhat compelled to offer token protest to the selection of this classic example of a "woman's book," but actually I was intrigued by it. Everything I had read about "Gift From the Sea" praised its meditative quality and I had to admit that the promise of that rather appealed to me.
I wound up reading the bulk of the book on Mothers' Day, which seemed quite appropriate, given that among the many issues Lindbergh addresses here is the need for mothers to find a balance between their own needs and those of their children and husbands. The need for time to one's self, a "room of one's own", the need for a spriritual dimension to one's existence--well, it seems so obvious that these needs have to be met if a woman--if any human being--is to be fulfilled and to be able to meet her (or his) responsibilities with joy rather than with dread. But the lessons that Anne Morrow Lindbergh taught in 1955 still need to be voiced in 2000--perhaps more than ever. Lindbergh seems prescient when she speaks of the dangers of the "life of multiplicity" which had already taken root in the immediate post-War era. We know all too well that it has not gotten any better in the past 50 years and that women's lives in particular have become more stressful and, to use Lindbergh's word, "fragmented" in the past half-century.
What distinguishes Lindbergh's book from today's current crop of self-help or New Age sprititual books though is its lyrical quality. Her careful, belletristic prose is soothing and, yes, meditative in and of itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Not a book to race through! To be read slowly, alone, savored, re-read, meditated and mused on, with contentment. And if you can't find contentment, it will find you -- in Anne's words -- her gift from the sea.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh's thoughts are woven around her impressions gathered from her ocean-side stay away from society and civilization -- from people and things -- from noise and confusion -- from musts and don'ts.

What Anne discovers in her solitude at the beach, she offers to you the reader by way of her journal. The tiny shells she held and studied provide lessons to her and all of us.

Anne's musings about life, relationships, love, busy-ness, aging, simplicity and solitude came to me several years ago at a time I was re-assessing many things in my life. Like a grace, her words soothed me and helped me quiet my turbulent thoughts, and to gather my inmost spirit to bind the wounds, to fill myself with the good already all around me and to go forward.

I realized I could slow down my pace, choose my own path, ask for and expect some peace and quiet and harmony, because these gifts are there for all of us to enhance our lives.

Although written from a woman's perspective, Anne's gift from the sea is for all of us who hunger for the slower pace, the garden path, the sanctity in God's every creation down to the intricate sea shell in Anne's hand as she coddles it, examines its artistic swirls and ridges and colors, and listens to the lessons -- the homilies -- within its delicate curves.

A keeper of a book. You'll go back to this one, like to a favorite vacation hideaway or armchair by the fireside or corner in the garden under the stars. It'll be an old friend, a comfort and blessing.

Take a deep breath......Can you just smell the salty tang of those soft breezes off the ocean
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five... Cinco... Cinq STARS***** May 16 2004
Format:Paperback
This is THE book for your feminine lifetime. It is not only a journey.... it's an adventure... and a healing. (+ reality check!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect gift for Moms Nov. 26 2003
Format:Paperback
Even though this book was written in the 1950's, it's subject matter is as current and relevant as if it was written yesterday. This is a small, sensible, gem of a book on the often overwhelming and thankless task of being a wife and mother. No, it's not a feminist rant, just a realistic look at what it means to sacrifice yourself for others. This book would make the perfect gift for every mother with young children...trust me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Book for All Seasons June 24 2003
Format:Paperback
I can only echo those who rave about this book. It is perhaps my all time favorite and that is saying a lot for a bookworm like myself. Her words and wisdom flow like warm honey. She is a wise person. Get this book for yourself and everyone you love. It will be a gift of love to them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Precious Portholes of Feminine Introspection Feb. 4 2003
By Plume45
Format:Paperback
This book is a gem of feminine insight and should be required reading (I truly hate that term, but in this case, it is valid)
for women over 30. Not to mention women who plan to reach 30. I recall having this book forced down our immature throats in
junior high English class, when the book first came out to critical acclaim in the late 50's. This seemed ill-advised, as the subject matter, plus lack of plot and character development or even characters in the first place, proved quite beyond the limited literary appreciation of the class.
Half a lifetime later, while perusing the dusty shelves of a used book store, I came across a copy of that almost forgotten book, presented so enthusiastically but naively by my long-ago English teacher. Now, as an adult, I decided to give it mature consideration; Ic can't believe what a treasure I had in my hands--how I had missed these pearls of human wisdom for decades! But it is never too late to recognize a jewel between covers.
The author felt impelled to take a retreat on an almost deserted island--perhaps to reflect at lesiure upon her roles as daughter, sister, wife, mother, woman and human being. As she strolls carelessly along the soothingly indifferent shore, she can not resist picking up vairous shells--all gifts, as it were, from the sea. Considering each type at length at days' end, she realizes that these various shells represent the the different stages of a woman's life. The bivalves, like butterly shells, remind her of the marriage bonds; the chambered nautilus reflects her home, which needs more rooms as the family expands. For Lindbergh each shell fills a special niche in the multitudinous roles which is a woman's privilege to perform.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gifts From the Sea
Quila Mackinnon, a twelve-year-old girl, is just crushed by the death of her mother. Now she is only left with her father and the old light house on Devils Rock. Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by Franny
4.0 out of 5 stars Every Woman
This book was given to me by a family friend after the birth of my first child. My initial thought was "like I have time to read", but I put it on my nightstand. Read more
Published on June 24 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars So few pages, so many gems
"I begin to understand why the saints were rarely married women," Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes. "The problem is not merely one of Woman and Career, Woman and the Home, Woman and... Read more
Published on May 31 2002 by Jenn
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sensible Sea Story
The life of a woman is complex. There is more to it than an average woman might realize. Anne Morrow Lindberg is definitely one woman who does not easily overlook all that is... Read more
Published on March 10 2002 by shirley
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Abundance For The Ages........
For anyone -- but most particularly any woman -- in search of self and her place in the world this book, written in 1955, is a must read. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2001 by Renee
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book That One Can Read Again and Again...
I have read this book at least twice and find that each time I pick it up, although in a different stage of my life, I extract a whole different meaning. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2001 by Jeffrey J Shanahan
4.0 out of 5 stars the wisdom that we are meant to be
I picked up Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift From the Sea" with a good deal of trepidation. The Oprahfication of America has too often brought the sexes into warring... Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2001 by NotATameLion
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