I recently finished Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift From The Sea.” Although it is only a little more than 120 pages (and small pages at that) it took me months to read. This isn’t because I found it irrelevant or boring; quite the contrary, I wanted to savor it. I only read it at the beach, and never read more than a chapter in a sitting. I wanted her thoughts about life and relationships to sink in, marinate inside of me.
The book is touted as being for women, and even more initially off-putting, for women from over half a century ago. Despite what might seem a limitation, the observations within remain as true today. I have recommended this book to several women close to me, bought it as a gift for an intern, and otherwise proclaimed its merit.
Lindbergh’s writing is incomparable. It is fluent and poetic. I can’t recall reading a more eloquent and articulate book. Her writing is simply beautiful. I first became acquainted with the book because excerpts are used in a text I teach in a personal growth class. Eventually I purchased the book, realizing the insight and magnificence of her writing. I was not disappointed. I’ve used excerpts in my Psychology Today articles, and find her vision as relevant today as it was when it was published in 1955.
Lindbergh uses shells she finds on the beach while vacationing as a precursor to each discussion of life, love, and relationships. She muses on her own life, quotes other authors she has read, and otherwise meanders purposefully through the meaning of the shell and all else related in an enjoyable, fascinating, and articulate manner. I highly recommend the book to anyone who wants to sit quietly on the beach and reflect on matters of living.