Gift from the Sea

Gift from the Sea

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh


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Over a quarter of a century after its first publication, the great and simple wisdom in this book continues to influence women's lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679732419
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/1991
Series: Chatto Pocket Library Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 27,018
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.95(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was born in 1906. She married Charles Lindbergh in 1929 and became a noted aviator in her own right, eventually publishing several books on the subject and receiving several aviation awards. Gift from the Sea, published in 1955, earned her international acclaim. She was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the National Women's Hall of Fame, and the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey. War Within and Without, the penultimate installment of her published diaries, received the Christopher Award in 1980. Mrs. Lindbergh died in 2001 at the age of ninety-four.

Read an Excerpt

I began these pages for myself, in order to think out my own particular pattern of living, my own individual balance of life, work and human relationships. And since I think best with a pencil in my hand, I started naturally to write. I had the feeling, when the thoughts first clarified on paper, that my experience was very different from other people’s. (Are we all under this illusion?) My situation had, in certain ways, more freedom than that of most people, and in certain other ways, much less.

Excerpted from "Gift from the Sea"
by .
Copyright © 1991 Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition by Reeve Lindbergh vii 

1 The Beach 7 
2 Channelled Whelk 13 
3 Moon Shell 31 
4 Double-Sunrise 53 
5 Oyster Bed 69 
6 Argonauta 81 
7 A Few Shells 103 
8 The Beach at My Back 113 

Gift from the Sea Re-opened 121

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Gift from the Sea 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Jenny_NJ More than 1 year ago
Anne Morrow Lindberg¿s book, ¿Gift From the Sea¿, is a beautifully written story that takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery. Inspired by her short vacation on the beach, she discovers the key to balance in life through her experiences. Although written for a wide audience, women can especially relate to this book because of the author¿s use of symbolism between the seashells and her various roles as a woman throughout life. The core message of this book is as relevant in today¿s world as it was when it was written in 1955. ¿Gift From the Sea¿ has been a best-seller, which I believe is due to the author¿s ability to eloquently relate to the pressures of life that most people feel, while bringing insight on how to cope with these pressures. She is the mother of five children and the wife of the famous Charles Lindberg. Her life has been filled with many responsibilities and challenges. She speaks honestly about her feelings and experiences as a mother, wife and friend. Symbolism is a dominant feature in this book. Each chapter is named after a seashell, such as ¿A Channeled Whelk¿, ¿Moon Shell¿, ¿Oyster Bed¿, ¿Argonauta¿, and ¿Double-Sunrise¿. These shells and chapter names are used as a metaphor for her marriage, life, relationships, children and work. They subsequently divide each part of her life as it divides the book. Her use of symbolism is effective in her writing because of the deep meaning she took from each shell. For example, the author used the lone moon shell to give importance for the need of solidarity in one¿s life. ¿If it is woman¿s function to give, she must be replenished too. But how? Solitude, says the moon shell. Every person, especially every woman, should be alone sometime during the year, some part of each week, and each day.¿ (p.42) Anne Lindberg¿s brilliant use of symbolism in the chapter titled, ¿Oyster Bed,¿ spoke to me as a wife and mother. She related the oyster shell to the middle years of marriage and explained how the oyster shell struggled for life. ¿The oyster has fought to have that place on the rock to which it has fitted itself perfectly and to which it clings tenaciously. So most couples in the growing years of marriage struggle to achieve a place in the world. It is a physical and material battle first of all, for a home, for children, for a place in their particular society¿¿ (p.74) The manner in which she manages to weave the seashells she finds on the beach with life¿s challenges is poignant and timeless. Although this book was written in 1955, the messages and lessons for achieving harmony in life are just as relevant today. The messages in this book are clear. We all must take time for ourselves. We must appreciate and value our relationships and experiences. I would recommend this inspirational book to anyone, as her writing is a true gift for anyone¿s soul.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended by my Priest while experiencing difficulities in my life. Separation from my husband, dealing with a neice and nephew we took in, two birth children living in Texas due to the oldest divorce and child residing with her mother, an emotionally impaired and mentally challenged sister, death of mother, sister and grandmother in six month time span! Intially I was not excited about the book; but as you read and immerse yourself in the author's preception and thoughts while on vacation with her family you become engrossed. The more you read, you feel like she has been reading your mind and some or all the topics become familiar. Though I think her intended audience is for woman; I feel a man could get a good idea of things concern woman and how we feel. I purchased two additional books and sent one to my daughter and the other to a dear friend. I highly recommend it - quick read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gift from the Sea is just that, a treasured gift. I read this book and then passed along to many others. It is truly a wonderful read not just for women but also men. I highly reccomend this book. Linbergh's words flow so beautifully.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Profound book! Just what I needed to read as I enter a new season in life...emptying nest /grandmotherhood. Well written.
ConfuzzledShannon More than 1 year ago
I picked up a Gift From The Sea after reading the historical fiction novel The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin, which is loosely about the life of the author Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I learned from The Aviator’s Wife that Anne was a smart, poetic, insightful and strong woman. This definitely shows through out the book A Gift From Sea. Her interpretation of shells along the beach comparing them to a woman’s life as we grow, marry, have children still keeping our individuality as strong women.  What I like about a Gift From The Sea is that it is a book that can be reread over the years and you keep learning from it. I feel that this first time that I have read it, that I am (at 35) still an infant in my years and have yet much to learn from this world. I feel as Anne’s daughter Reeve said, in the intro I have that, it is a book that should be read once a year.  The interpretation of the shells found along the beach, and comparing them to life, was sometimes lost on me but still interesting.  In the end this a book I am keeping. I hope to return to it possibly once a year to reread. As much as I learned from it there is so much more that I will learn from it through the stages of my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Gift from the Sea when it first came out. Decided to reread after reading the book The Aviator's Wife. All women should read Gifts From the Sea. Anne Morrow Lindberg was a far better person then her husband.
Muddypaws More than 1 year ago
This book helped me realize the many roles we play and the stages we go through in life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The gift of the Sea is a perfectly timeless book filled with thoughts & inspiration all ages, You will read it every year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book that every woman, young or old, should read and re-read. It is a guide to a peaceful life. My Mother was the first person to give it to me and I have given it to my daughters-in-law.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I buy an average of a book a week and this is beyond a doubt my all time FAVORITE book. This small volume speaks to readers today even more than to those in the 50's when it was written. Our high-pressure, busy society could find respite in Lindberg's wisdom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't say I loved this book; yet I didn't hate it. While many parts were thought provoking I also found it to be simply too wordy. It was like she felt the need to constantly provide such imagery that it became a constant drip of annoying, over abundance of words. I know the book has stood the test of time and there is no doubt that it serves as a reminder to enjoy life. Parts were elegant & inspiring, I found myself being glad that there were only 71 pages. Had it been longer I feel as if the reader would've been drowning in flowery ocean of words, trying to give perfect insight to what she wad trying to get across to the reader. I was surprised by my slight disappointment in this somewhat classic work. While I'm glad I took the time to read it (at the suggestion of Hoda Kotb of The Today Show) I can't say that out will ever make my top 10 or even 50 list of must reads.
mahallett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i listened to this and my mind is easily distracted.interesting.
akeela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my enduring favorites. Although this memoir was written in 1955, it is still completely relevant today. In the midst of being tied up with her family life ¿she has a husband and five children ¿ Lindbergh decides to take off and spend some time alone on an island to replenish herself. As the days pass, she starts relaxing and leaving the busyness behind; she then begins to soak up nature and the abundant gifts the sea has to offer in terms of life lessons. Very wise, and beautifully written. Highly recommended.
arcona on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I first came across this book many years ago, it was one of the first books I had read that dealt with being a woman. Her approach to taking time out to go to the seaside to assess her life appealed immensely to me. The seaside has always helped me put things in perspective, but I never could have expressed it so well. A wonderful read.
writestuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anne Morrow Lindbergh¿s slim book of essays, Gift From The Sea, was first published in 1955. Her work within the pages of this book was inspired during a short vacation she took by herself to an island - a place where she communed with the wide expanse of the sea, the star-filled nights, the sandy beaches and the empty shells of mysterious ocean life. Lindbergh contemplates love and marriage, solitude, and inner strength, using shells as metaphor for how to live our lives.The book gives a unique insight into a time in history for women. The 50s housewife was just beginning to see the possibilities for herself, and Lindbergh captures that eagerness. She also inserts a warning to women not to forget where their strength lies - inside.Gifts From the Sea is a timeless classic. I highlighted many passages which are still relevant to today¿s world. Lindbergh writes with a beauty and wisdom, a poetic style which draws the reader in.Highly recommended.
Cinnamon-Girl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written in the mid-1950s by Lindbergh (yes, the same woman whose baby was kidnapped), this is a collection of short stories that is as relevant today as it was fifty years ago. Each story centers upon a certain shell ¿ and the lessons it holds for Lindbergh, and all women, lessons such as the importance of simplicity and solitude. Lindbergh¿s prose is lyrical, yet accessible; reading her words is like listening to the sage advice of a favorite aunt. Walking alone along a beach and sitting in her cottage by the sea, she ponders upon the lives of women and what is needed for personal fulfillment. Gift from the Sea is a spiritual book that speaks outside the bounds of any particular religion although I found my copy in the Christian inspiration section of my local bookstore. Her appeal for women to reclaim themselves is a gentle feminist calling, one that stirs the soul and resonates long after the last page is turned.
yeldabmoers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m afraid I¿m going to get into trouble for writing this review because I believe I may be critical of one of the darlings of American Literature, especially a woman who was such a pioneer. For the most part, Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of aviation legend Charles Lindbergh, is a poignant meditation of a woman¿s life, her role, her place in society, her demands of motherhood, wifedom, and her needs for solitude and inward contemplation. Lindbergh writes from her own experience while spending time alone in a cottage on an island far from her mainstay life. Each chapter is the name of a shell on the shore that she collects and that inspires her musings on life. She also discusses her feelings on approaching middle age.Though the book is well written, and well thought out, I found it at times to be bizarre and disconnected from the real world. Lindbergh spends time alone on her cottage, near the shore, away from her husband and five children. At times she actually advocates being away from one¿s children for as long as a month. Now I know Thoreau did this or something similar when he lived in a tiny log cabin in the woods alone for 2 years and 2 months, but he was not married and had no children. I find this type of experiment quite detached for a mother, and I can¿t say if she began this habit when her children were young, but to advise such a thing to me was strange. Lindbergh makes many analogies between seashells and life and though at times I found it poetic and moving, all the pieces didn¿t connect for me, and I felt these analogies forced. I also couldn¿t help that she was writing from a place of privilege (was she really making her children¿s beds when she was born into a privileged life and married to a famed aviator?). Her message is engaging¿find time as a woman to cultivate your inner life in your own space, similar to what Virginia Woolf preached in her essay, A Room of One¿s Own. But Woolf didn¿t have any children; Lindbergh had five. You don¿t go to a cabin and leave your husband when you have five children to tend to. Why would you have five children then? Could a middle class woman who has everyday childcare and household responsibilities really do this?Another bizarre clip: she keeps mentioning love affairs, and how if we as women don¿t cultivate our inner life, we may be rushing off into a love affair. She had mentioned this several times, peppered throughout her book. A woman who has normal family responsibilities does not easily rush into a love affair, as far as I know. But then again, who knows? I only have one young child myself. Gift from the Sea is a sermon that¿s quite original. As a woman of privilege, Lindbergh could speak this way, but many other middle class women couldn¿t live this Thoreauvian life she depicts by the sea. A cottage on the sea, by the way, is probably very expensive too.
CarolynSchroeder on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This little book is like a breath of fresh air. Even though it was published in 1955 (with a update in the version I read - 1975), it is still as poignant as ever. I think it is more aptly directed at women, but it would be beautiful as well for a man trying to understand his wife/partner. It is very understanding of the world women live in, including nuturing relationships with men. But mostly it is about paring down to a simple, conscious life and finding your inner peace and just enjoying what you have, or finding what you enjoy. Lindbergh presents it in a way that is accessible to every woman, no matter her circumstances, background or present relationships (friends, family, partner). Since I am about to embark on a vacation by the sea, I'm so glad I read this first. I highly recommend it, especially for the woman reader who is feeling a bit lost of purpose or sense of self. I guarantee this will make you feel a bit better and give you some ideas towards hope.
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Who knew that Charles Lindbergh¿s wife was such a wonderful writer? I certainly didn¿t. Gift From the Sea is a slim nonfiction book that she wrote on learning to enjoy life and manage the day-to-day struggles we can all relate to. The 50th anniversary edition of the book I read included an added retrospective chapter at the end. Lindbergh compares different stages in a woman¿s life to various shells she finds on the beach. The shells aren¿t the point; it¿s what they represent that carries the weight of the work. She touches on maintaining your individuality as a woman despite marriage and motherhood, a difficult balance to find. Lindbergh¿s writing is full of simple truths, but they¿re ones we often miss in life. Her musings are all the more poignant when you remember that her child was kidnapped and murder. Yet somehow she was still able to maintain some perspective and attain a healthy life despite that tragedy. I can¿t think of a single woman I wouldn¿t recommend this to. It¿s a lovely reminder to appreciate whatever stage you¿re in at the moment. I always fill my days with a million commitments and small tasks and this was a wonderful reminder to slow down and just enjoy the bliss of doing nothing sometimes. Her words can speak for themselves, so here¿s a few of the lines I loved¿¿We Americans, with out terrific emphasis on youth, action, and material success, certainly tend to belittle the afternoon of life and pretend it never comes.¿¿By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class.¿ ¿Perhaps both men and women in America may hunger, in our material, outward, active, masculine culture, for the supposedly feminine qualities of the heart, mind and spirit ¿ qualities which are actually neither masculine or feminine, but simply human qualities that have been neglected.¿¿I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious.¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great. I bought it because I enjoy reading about the ocean, but it ended up using these ocean related objects as metaphors. The author taught valuable lessons through this piece. I highly recommend it for women who need something to make them think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Are listed in nook or in other titles by author except for letters collected by daughtet she kept extensive journals according to her books and believe they were all destroyed by her orders or after she was very old and senile by her children you would think an effort would be made to reissue them she had ample help with children cook maids chauffer nurse etc and a special cabin on grounds to write set up y er husband who insisted . Also she edited rewrote and corrected what he wrote too. obvious they did not take children on all those trips here and there and there and he usualky dud them alone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To be read and re-read - uplifting and relaxing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago