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The House by the Sea: A Journal Paperback – 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
After Nelson, New Hampshire, Sarton sought what she thought would be a totally "different" life as far as neighbors, company and the like in York, Maine. She was in her mind seeking "personal space". In this succinct journal Ms. Sarton chronicles her "new home" and life in Maine with often great detail and a wide range of emotions. While I am not particularly found of Journals, this one drew me in. I, too, yearn for the harsh ocean environment that the house at York afforded Sarton; the seasons; working in the garden(s);and, relaxing in those veranda recliners and gazing out over the field of tall grass to the ocean(glass of wine in hand). A most excellent piece. If you are not a Sarton reader, this will bring you into the fold.
I can see why some people find it irritating to read, although I never do. She contradicts herself frequently-- complains of how she never gets time to herself and then runs around the Eastern seaboard like a bandersnatch. She can be prey to muddled thinking and faulty logic and sounds as though she'd be a real pain to be around much of the time.
But still, it's inspirational to read as someone who wants to keep a journal. It's not a constantly ecstatic experience in the way that Annie Dillard can be or an idea journal in the vein of Walden, it's more like reading somebody fumbling through towards bigger ideas and willing to expose the joints and creaky bits in the process. There are moments of vision and transcendence, but also a lot of the petty crap that gets people down from day to day.
I like reading Sarton because she is so human. I feel like I miss her even though I never knew her, and reading her is like getting to know her-- in all her fulness as a flawed and talented human being.
I'd probably begin with A Journal of a Solitude, as I think it's the more complete work, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this as a follow-up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From the outset by the 3rd journal entry the author jumps on her liberal soapbox without merit. What a shame it could have been a nice read if she had kept to nature and not began... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Product-Reviewer
I think it would be impossible for me to read one of May Sarton's journals and not enjoy it. They all have a similar ambiance and put me into my comfort zone from the very first... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Donna Hill
I had to put down this book many times over the read, just to think and sometimes recover. Discovering May Sarton is a highlight for me in reading and she was quite prolific. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Joy Patterson
May Sarton was a superb writer, what a discovery, to find a new author, and such a prolific one. I look forward to reading more.Published on March 6, 2013 by Christine McCullagh
I purchased this title because I had read two other May Sarton journals. At this point, she is by the sea in a big rented house and her writings are catching on as the feminist... Read morePublished on February 25, 2013 by Harriett
As her life changes and age creeps in, the internal drive and communication with her garden, the sea and a variety of friends and would-be friends fill the pages and kept me up too... Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by kycoffin