Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Gift from the Sea

I love to read books about books and one of my favorite authors in this genre is Will Schwable. I read his Books for Living earlier this year and vowed to read Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea, which Schwable wrote about so beautifully.

This lovely, slender book was every bit as special as I had hoped. The basic premise is that Lindbergh spends a vacation on her own in a cottage by the sea, spending her time recharging and reflecting, away from home, husband, and children.  Each chapter is a meditation on a specific object, mostly shells, and she uses the shape and texture and function of the shell as a writing prompt to reflect on her life and what matters to her--home, husband, children, work.

Although the role of women in American society has changed profoundly since Lindbergh wrote this book, the struggles she faces as a working mother, trying to balance her creative impulses with her desire to create a calm and nurturing home, are timeless.

I loved Lindbergh's quiet prose and her voice is strong and sure, even when her words talk about her ambiguity, restlessness, and desire for escape.

I agree with Schwable--this is definitely a book for living. It's a book to keep near at hand and dive into from time to time. I do wish I had read it as a young woman because it would've been interesting to see how my thoughts about it would have changed as I faced my own struggles with work/life balance, but even so, I look forward to rereading it a few more times in the years to come.


  1. I also love books about books.

    The idea of relating various objects as a starting point to write about things of consequence seems to be very creative and a very good idea. There is a special connection between deep thinking and oceans.

  2. I love this book. I've read it multiple times and always find some new thought in it each time I read it that seems meant just for me. :)

  3. thanks I will add this to my list. I never read it when I was young either.