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Gift from the Sea Paperback – January 30, 1991

4.6 out of 5 stars 701 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

Review

"Read it -- it will be one of your happiest discoveries" Sainsbury's Magazine "A modern classic" Good Book Guide --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon (January 30, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679732411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679732419
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (701 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
After watching _The Spirit of St. Louis_ one afternoon, my boyfriend (who is also a pilot) told me that Anne Morrow Lindbergh had written a book, which, as he was told, "every woman should read." The next time I went to his house, _Gift from the Sea_ was waiting for me.
What amazed me about this book was its timeliness, or should I say, timelessness. That a middle-aged Caucasian woman, writing during the 50's, could strike such a deeply-felt chord of sisterhood with me, a 30-something African-American woman living at the brink of a new millennium, is truly the mark of a gifted writer. We "enlightened, liberated" women of the year 2000 think, with a fair amount of condescension, that we have "progressed" so much from that time period. And yet, the issues Mrs. Lindbergh addressed are still very much with us today: how does a woman fulfill the roles of citizen, artist, wife/partner, mother, career person, friend, sibling/relative, and balance all of that with the time and self-commitment for spiritual/emotional nurturing?
I have a quote from this precious gift posted on the wall at my workstation; it is a state of being I seek as a humble pilgrim on life's journey:
"...I want first of all...to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact - to borrow from the language of the saints - to live "in grace" as much of the time as possible...By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony...I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God..."
This is a must read for women everywhere!
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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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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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