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An Unfinished Marriage Hardcover – March 12, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; 1 edition (March 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767908708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767908702
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Anderson's 1999 memoir, A Year by the Sea, described her year-long break from marriage, a time of independent self-discovery as she approached middle age. In this sequel, she continues into the following year, when she and her newly retired husband, Robin, move to their cottage on Cape Cod. The two face the process of building a new partnership as Anderson readjusts to living with another person and Robin comes to terms with his nonworking status. Anderson looks back on their early married life and shares her apprehensions about Robin's idleness. A trip to the dump reminds her that she and Robin can take the good elements of their early years and recycle them into this new phase of marriage. When she breaks her ankle, she finds a tenderness in her husband that surprises her. A bittersweet Christmas visit from a son and daughter-in-law is especially touching, as she rejoices in the news of their expected first child yet frankly explores her sadness in watching her son's role as husband take precedence over his role as son. Anderson's love of the Cape Cod landscape is an important element of her book, notably in the final chapters describing the couple's two-week stay in an isolated dune shack, sans running water and electricity. Fans of her earlier work will find the same thoughtful reflection and candor in this closeup of a marriage at midlife.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Following up on her discoveries during A Year by the Sea, this best-selling author explains how she repaired her marriage.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

An ongoing relationship and an unfinished journey!
Nancy R. Katz
I thought the book was thought provoking and empowering.
Dottie Randazzo
I enjoyed the read as it was just so very interesting.
Cheryl Hazlett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By happy reader on June 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I found Joan Anderson's first book, A Year by the Sea to be a life altering book for me. This follow up doesn't quite live up to the original but it is interesting to see where the first book left off and what happened the year after the year by the sea. I recently met Joan Anderson at one of her wonderful weekend by the sea retreats and she told us that she had been asked why she and her husband got back together after a year apart, and she said it is because he is my best friend. As simple as that. This book does show the love and tenderness that Joan and Robin have for each other especially after Joan breaks her ankle and has to completely depend on her husband for everything. After an awkward start, he becomes an expert in domestic duties much to Joan's delight. Who knew? Given half a chance, men can take care of a household as well as a woman if he is willing to try. And their two weeks at the dune cottage while their house was being renovated was a kind of a whimsical adventure. With no electricity, running water or telephones what can you possible have to do for two whole weeks? Well, they managed to do a lot of discovery about themselves and their surroundings during that time. Everyone should have such an opportunity to get away from the rat race once in a while. I recommend the book but only after reading A Year by the Sea first if you haven't already because otherwise you won't get it.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Gloria Johnson on January 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"A Year by the Sea," to which An Unfinished Marriage" is the sequel, is the memoir of a woman who peeled off the layers of her life and found again the person hidden under those layers. This is not unique in literature, nor in the lives of women, but Anderson's story is satisfying to women, most of whom are unable or unwilling to take Anderson's drastic and courageous approach to reshaping their lives. It was well-written and, deservedly, it sold well; a lot of us who read it learned from her experiences and appreciated her insights.
Unfortunately, "An Unfinished Marriage" is a bogus effort to take advantage of that success, with little basis. "Write a sequel, Joan. A lot of readers will buy the book, thinking that you really have something else to say."
Most of this book--and most of the so-called work on "finishing" or rescuing the marriage--takes place in Joan's head, not between Joan and Robin. Robin, newly retired, is undeveloped in the book, presented as though he has little or no role in the marriage and little or no interest in taking any steps to preserve it. He is trying to redefine himself as a retired person, a position for which Anderson has little sympathy. Having spent the preceding year re-evaluating and changing her life, she has not much interest in his attempt to do the same in the year she has apparently designated for re-evaluating and changing their marriage. This is a man who has obviously failed to get with the program.
Joan seems to feel that the future of the marriage is entirely in her hands and that somehow the marriage will move forward if she is very introspective and contrives everything possible into a series of lame metaphors that supposedly represent the marriage.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on August 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
An ongoing relationship and an unfinished journey!
In 1999, Joan Anderson's book, A Year by the Sea was published to unanimous acclaim. Written primarily as a memoir, the author focused on the year she separated from her husband and lived alone in their Cape Cod cottage. This slim volume spoke volumes to legions of women and quickly became a bestseller. Now in her newest book, An Unfinished Marriage, Anderson continues her story as she reconciles with her husband and he moves to the Cape.
Certainly, Joan Anderson took a bold step by separating from her husband to find herself and perhaps in part to add a new dimension to her married life. And while many women who are married for sometime would find this the thought of a solitary year intriguing, Anderson admits it was not always an easy experience. Neither is everything so wonderful during the time Robin and Joan joined together again.
For Joan, the reunion is initially fraught with tension and compromise. While Robin has retired and is now seeking a new meaning and purpose to his life, Joan has already found this during her year of solitude. Joan feels crowded by his presence both physically and emotionally. As Anderson also described unearthed emotions in her first book, she continues to reveal her innermost thoughts concerning the changes and growth for them as individuals and as a married couple. Month by month for the year of their reunion, Anderson charts the ups and downs of her marriage and their lives. With total candor
and great insight, she presents a vivid look into the inner working of this union. Drawing upon glimpses of their early, married life and their years as parents of two young boys, for many readers these scenes will serve as reminders of their own lives.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sandra D. Peters on March 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Readers who read Anderson's first book, "A Year by the Sea" will find this a beautiful sequel and equally as compelling as her first book. After seeing Anderson on the Oprah show, I was as impressed with the author as I was with her book. In this book, Anderson and her husband reunite after a year apart. The reunion was not without its ups and downs as would be expected after the author's year sabbatical. According to Anderson, she and her husband had to make several changes to avoid making the same pitfalls and mistakes that had caused the couple to drift with a different tide. I particularly enjoyed "their trip to the dump", a learning experience that proved, like many objects we cast away, marriages can also be recycled.
Anderson is a down-to-Earth woman who spent considerable time searching for her true self - much of which had been lost in her marriage. In discovering what made her tick, she also discovered a part of her marriage that was worth saving. As a counsellor, I hear so many stories of marriages that lose their spark. Not all marriages can be salvaged or "recycled" and some should not be; however, love is our most powerful emotion - it can overcome all obstacles if we are willing to make the commitment and changes to resolve the issues. Through the pages of this wonderfully inspiring book, many readers, particularly women, will be able to relate to Anderson's tale and perhaps see a little of themselves. The book reminds me of the saying, "If you love something set it free; if it comes back, it is yours; if it does not, it never was."
Hats off to Joan Anderson for having the courage and wisdom to take a journey into self-discovery with all the risks involved and the determination to write a book which contains a valuable lesson for women everywhere.
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More About the Author

Joan Anderson is a journalist and the bestselling author of A Year by the
Sea, An Unfinished Marriage, A Walk on the Beach, and A Weekend to Change
Your Life. She lives with her husband on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and
conducts weekend workshops for women around the country.

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