After reading The Aviator's Wife, I developed a respect for Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a woman who I previously had known little about. Her story, both in the novel and in real life, was one of passion, pain, and perseverance. I wanted to learn more about the woman I had read about, and what better way than to know her through her own words. Anne Morrow Lindbergh was more than the wife of Charles Lindbergh, as she was a successful aviator and author. Many of her books, including North to the Orient, Listen! The Wind, and a compilation of her personal diaries, were award winning works. In her book, Gift from the Sea, she elegantly composes her thoughts on solitude, personal growth, love, life, and relationships inspired by the shells on the shore while on a vacation.
Gift from the Sea is a compilation of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's reflections while on a vacation alone on Captiva Island in Florida. In this book, she draws inspiration from the shells she finds along the shore and compares them to the different aspects of her life. Though she draws on her own experiences and relationships, the connections she makes translate easily to the reader. Her observations of the demands of everyday life and the expectations she faced are easily relatable. She also focuses on the different relationships one has with oneself and others. This book has sold millions of copies since it was first published, and continues to maintain its relevancy throughout different generations. The 50th anniversary edition also offers an extra insight from Anne on her thoughts about the impact her writing has had on so many.
"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless, as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I bought this book for myself and my mother, as a gift to share between us two. We both truly enjoyed it, and connected to it in different yet similar ways. It is thought provoking, and initiates creativity and reflection. Gift from the Sea is so eloquently written that it transcends time, and allows anyone, of any gender or age, to connect to it in a special way. This book is truly universal. Anne Morrow Lindbergh's writing is graceful and thoughtful. Despite being written in 1955, her wisdom and insight still applies sixty-three years later. One can read a few pages in the midst of a quick break from daily life or read it in its entirety during a long awaited vacation settled in a beach chair by the ocean. It can be reread over and over again, yet be just as refreshing as the last time. This is simply a book everyone should have on their shelves.