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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for women in their 50's in long term marriages
I can't remember when I've been so captivated by a book and an author. Was she somehow peering into my own marriage/life? I've just turned 50, have been married to the same man for 30 years and can be counted as one of her readers who is extremely envious of what she has done. Courageous? Yes! Introspective? Definitely! I would truly like to know this woman and...
Published on 7 Jun. 1999

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Self absorbed and rather boring book
I was disappointed that this book wasn't more original or thought provoking. It tells of a year in the life of a woman who is tired of her humdrum life and marriage, and bravely decides to go and live alone for a year to see if she can resurrect the "inner spark". I thought this was an interesting premise for a book, and hoped it would deliver some genuine insights into...
Published on 4 Jan. 2003 by Amazon Customer


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Self absorbed and rather boring book, 4 Jan. 2003
I was disappointed that this book wasn't more original or thought provoking. It tells of a year in the life of a woman who is tired of her humdrum life and marriage, and bravely decides to go and live alone for a year to see if she can resurrect the "inner spark". I thought this was an interesting premise for a book, and hoped it would deliver some genuine insights into some of the problems faced by women today.
For me, however, it just didn't deliver. I thought much of the writing was cliched, and the author's observations seemed a bit obvious eg she writes that she is fed up by her realisation that she was too accommodating to her family, and always put their needs ahead of her own. So show me a woman with kids who doesn't feel like this!
So, I felt it was an interesting idea, but the book didn't hold my interest, had nothing radical or new to say, and just meandered along at a very slow pace. I couldn't recommend.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Year by the Sea, 20 April 2003
I fell in love with the premise of a woman brave enough to make a break from her husband and go and live by the sea to discover the true inner woman.
However, although I liked the book it didn't really work for me and presented one or two cringe-making comparisons between nature and her marriage (shudder!!) and also became a bit whingy (with a some 70s feminism thrown in) in parts.
Having said that, I do feel that if this woman was brave enough to confont her hubby and grown up kids with the idea and see it though, I do believe the material must have been there!!! Bit weak for me!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for women in their 50's in long term marriages, 7 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
I can't remember when I've been so captivated by a book and an author. Was she somehow peering into my own marriage/life? I've just turned 50, have been married to the same man for 30 years and can be counted as one of her readers who is extremely envious of what she has done. Courageous? Yes! Introspective? Definitely! I would truly like to know this woman and sit down with her over coffee or attend one of her "Weekends by the Sea". She's given me much insight and inspiration into taking charge of my own personal journey through the rest of my life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Editors are a problem, 12 July 2004
By A Customer
I read this straight through and there is something very moving in Joan's account of her decision to move away to her beach cottage. She acknowledges the editorial help she received and I think this is the problem. The genuine experience is masked behind editing; this is a pity as the account hides the tentative raw edges of her experience. Perhaps the edited journal entries would have had more truth and helped readers identify with the very unfinishedness of life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A year in the life of a mildly dissatisfied midlife woman., 11 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
I loved Joan Anderson's book, what she had to say and the honest, no-frills way she said it. Right from the very beginning where seals appear, I could almost hear the sound track from the movie "Secrets of Roan Inish". If you saw that movie you'll know what I mean. I didn't doubt for a minute that she did indeed work long, hard hours as the only woman in the fish market, manage to get her clamdigger's license, just to make ends meet, and refused to allow any limits to stop her from incredible physical work. She wanted to pay for repairs herself and not rely on her husband, who she decided not to follow when he was transferred out of state. Whatever needed doing she was solely responsible for getting done. Cooking for her nephew's film crew and cast. Setting the rules, after he tried to beat her to it. She managed to stay way under his budget, and earn only minumum wage for herself. Knowing that there was much wisdom and friendship to savor from a frail, elderly woman she stumbled upon in the fog. I'm from her era and could relate perfectly when she described herself as "a good girl". How far you went with your boy friend determined whether you were "good" or "loose", in our day. After a year of thinking about what is important in life, knowing she could chose any path, she made the decision that to me made it all worthwhile. She had the courage to act on her wishes, keeping track in her journal and then luckily for us, shared it in "A Year by the Sea"
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3.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Entry in the Personal Memoir Genre, 28 May 1999
By A Customer
Anderson's husband announced one day that they must move because he has changed jobs. She is fifty years old and refuses to move with him. Instead she retreats for a year of inner exploration, to their summer cottage on Cape Cod. There she learns to take risks - swimming with the seals; spending a solitary night on a sand bar; working in a local fish market and learning to dig for clams in order to make money to pay for a new hot water heater for the cottage. Along the way she befriends a couple of locals, and learns the need for adventure, wonder and joy in her life. At the end her husband re-joins her in order to retire to the cottage on the Cape. But all I could think about was how nice and convenient that her husband was still there waiting for her, after her year of solitude. She tells us nothing about their interaction together during their year of separation, other than a Christmas visit and a couple of very brief phone conversations. Surely they must have spent time talking about their marriage and their future together. But we, the reader are given no inkling of it. The husband just reappears again at the end, ready to resume the marriage.(He is a very shadowy character throughout the book, never fully fleshed out) This omission from the book, of the process of re-ordering a long marriage was a disappointment to me, although I realize this was Anderson's story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pilgrimage to personhood invites readers along., 7 July 1999
By A Customer
It is a rare gift to find a soul mate between the pages of a wonderful book. Joan Anderson's style is liquid gold. I was awash in salt air and alternately displaced to Cape Cod and the isle of Roan Inish (my all-time favorite movie). The seals were a fantastic metaphor. Joan's personal pilgrimage is the dream of every woman of her generation who hopes her loved ones will discover her on her own terms. Every woman of a certain age will identify with this story for her own reason. I am also a writer who moved to Cape Cod to complete a womens novel. The outcome and motives are the same; mine is a different story. Anderson will find herself swamped with those of us who want to be her friend, neighbor or confidante. Most of us facing a coming-of-middle-age lack the courage to risk everything. She tackles her pilgrimage with strength and a marvelous sense of humor and emerges a winner in every sense. It was a pleasure to spend time with Joan Anderson. A Year by the Shore is one of those books I raced through, only to find I was sad when I finished it. I was on page 100 before I realized that my feet were cold. I grabbed a cup of tea and some socks and continued reading, saving the last 20 pages so I could savor them in the morning. This book is the perfect gift for many friends of all ages.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A rich addition to the memoir genre, 15 July 1999
By A Customer
Ms. Anderson embraces solitude and physical labor during a year away from her husband in order to take stock and decide the direction her life should take next. She suggests that women (and men) of all ages are "unfinished" throughout life. She and we are on a daily journey of discovery and change that ends only with death, not with a specific age, station in life, or accomplishment.
The rich, poetic, and spiritual details of Ms. Anderson's particular story go beyond her life and speak to anyone who stops, or wants to stop, for a time along the way to reflect and assess, for whatever reason.
You might especially enjoy this book if you are drawn to the wonders of the shoreline.
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4.0 out of 5 stars provocative look at herself and her relationships, 3 May 1999
By A Customer
Joan's style conveys images and thoughts that set me thinking and keep me coming back to my thoughts. She uses few words to establish an image that I could really relate to. The title "A Year by the Sea" gives the impression of a period of time that is long enough to provide a cycle of growth. She includes in her story the tidal cycle which is too short for the growth and understanding that she is seeking.
She makes the reader get in her corner and want to get to know her.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for every 40+ woman., 31 May 1999
By A Customer
Its a book that compels one to review their innermost thoughts and feelings. Its a story you read in one sitting and then realize you want to go back and re-read it.
The book only brings you to a certain point in her self discovery and leaves the reader yearning for a sequel. It may appear to be a women's book; however, after having forced my husband to read it he also found it enlightening.
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A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman
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