A Review of ‘Gift from the Sea’ by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Gift from the Sea is a beautifully crafted memoir by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. As opposed to more traditional formats for either memoirs or autobiographies, Gift from the Sea takes the form of a series of essays in which Mrs. Lindbergh relates her own personal experiences and reflections to the shape of various shells that she found on the beach, detailing how each shell is similar to a past, present or future stage of life. Her prose is largely analogous to poetry despite its division by paragraphs instead of stanzas, and I would recommend the book for the quality of its writing alone.
Gift from the Sea is a soothing reminder of the ephemeral nature of both life and our experiences: everything, no matter how wonderful or exciting, will fade with time; our attempts to cling to something that is past serve only to intensify or prolong the anguish that often accompanies these passings. It also reminds us to seek out harmony and peace, even if only as a brief respite from the hectic patterns of one’s ordinary day-to-day life; a respite that, even once it has receded into distant memory, continues to nurture and replenish, better enabling the individual to cope with the trials, traumas and stresses that constitute an inescapable part of modern life.