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Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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It is not often I write about the books I read.  Though I have written about many

It is even less often that I feel the importance of sharing my review with my other blogs

This book review will find a place on all the pages.


This book is one of those rare Gems, like…a shell found intact on the sea shore, that it must be shared.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift by the Sea”

Is a perfect analogy  for life.   Really most of it pertains to all humans, but being a woman, her focus is on how We(women) live so much for other’s (people and things) that we forget to take time for ourselves and what is really important.

The amazing thing about this book is it still stands firm today.

She died in 2001

This book was first published in 1955.

1955 a time when looking back we think of black and white tv shows, where the mothers were happy to push their vacuums and wash their dishes.

LIndbergh, though really living a life of privilege touched by great tragedy(the kidnapping and death of her first son)

is so very insightful to the plagues of modern society.

She cleverly weaves her thoughts while comparing stages of her life to the different types of seashells you find at the shore.

Written with no pretense, and easy to follow, if only everyone had someone so wise in their lives.

I wish I could share all I love about this book

but I will try to pare it down to one quote from each chapter that stood out to me in an attempt to get you to want to go on and read more.

From Chapter 2, Channelled Whelk

…My Shell is not like this, …Surely it had shape once.  It has a shape still in my mind   What is the Shape of my life?

…For to be a woman …the pattern of our lives is essentially circular.  We must be open to all points of the compass….How difficult for us then, to achieve a balance in the midst of these contradictory tensions, and yet how necessary for the proper functioning of our lives.

….we who should choose simplicity, choose complication…

…One is free like the hermit crab to change ones shell…

From Chapter 3, Moon Shell

…We feel so frightened today of being alone, that we never let it happen….

…When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place.  We must re-learn to be alone….

…If one is out of touch with oneself then one cannot touch others…

…If it is a woman’s function to give, she must be replenished too…

…By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. …

…The world does not understand , in either man or woman, the need to be alone…

…Not knowing how to feed the spirit, we try to muffle its demands…

…What matters is that one be for a time inwardly attentive…

From Chapter 4, Double-Sunrise

……It was a gift, freely offered, freely taken, in mutual trust….

…Somehow, we mistakenly feel that failure to maintain its exact original pattern is tragedy…

…that there is no holding of a relationship to a single form…

From Chapter 5, Oyster Bed

…That is what marriage is, isn’t it–continuity of a relationship? Of course, but not necessarily continuity in one single form or stage…

…It is made of loyalties, and inter-dependencies, and shared experiences…

…We push the clock back and try to prolong the morning…..In our breathless attempts we often miss the flowering that waits for afternoon…

From Chapter 6, Argonauta,

…The light shed by any good relationship illuminates all relationships…

…good communication is stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after…

…When you love someone you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment..   It is an impossibility…

…Perhaps this is the most important thing….each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid; each cycle of a relationship is valid…

From Chapter 7, A Few Shells:

…For it is not merely the trivial which clutters our lives but the important as well…

…Then communication becomes communion and one is nourished as one never is by words…

These were not my only highlighted passages in the book but the few that I thought would make you want to read the book.

Use this book as your few minutes away for renewal  and then..share it with someone else…


May you find your own sea shore.

About ellasurreau

I was first grade religious education catechist I have been teaching for 20 years I have a BA in Religious Studies I have continued taking classes in religious studies since graduating. I grew up Methodist, and became catholic after marrying.

4 responses »

  1. Pingback: Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh | ellasurreaublog

  2. I guess I failed in one quote per chapter…please…for your own inner self….get the book

  3. I read this book a long time ago and enjoyed it. It’s interesting to read her reflections about her life, family and her marriage to Charles Lindbergh, especially with all we know now about his other families in England.


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