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Extended Audio Sample A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman Audiobook, by Joan Anderson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,395 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joan Anderson Narrator: Laural Merlington Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9781469214689
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Life is a work in progress, as ever-changing as a sandy shoreline along the beach. During the years Joan Anderson was a loving wife and supportive mother, she had slowly and unconsciously replaced her own dreams with the needs of her family. With her sons grown, however, she realized that the family no longer centered on the home she provided, and her relationship with her husband had become stagnant. Like many women in her situation, Joan realized that she had neglected to nurture herself and, worse, to envision fulfilling goals for her future. As her husband received a wonderful job opportunity out-of-state, it seemed that the best part of her own life was finished. Shocking both of them, she refused to follow him to his new job and decided to retreat to a family cottage on Cape Cod.

At first casting about for direction, Joan soon began to take pleasure in her surroundings and call on resources she didn't realize she had. Over the course of a year, she gradually discovered that her life as an "unfinished woman" was full of possibilities. Out of that magical, difficult, transformative year came A Year by the Sea, a record of her experiences and a treasury of wisdom for listeners.

This year of self-discovery brought about extraordinary changes in the author's life. The steps that Joan took to revitalize herself and rediscover her potential have helped thousands of women reveal and release untapped resources within themselves.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marianna | 2/17/2014

    " Ms. Anderson writes about a wish that I believe many middle-age women have. Running away. Spending a good block of time by oneself in order to figure out why on earth one is here beyond being a helpmeet to a husband, a chauffer to children, a shoulder to cry on for friends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hope | 2/9/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed the insightful and truthful account from a woman who re-defined herself during her mid-life. She made unconventional decisions that ultimately brought her to a place where she was better for herself and her loved ones in the long run. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 2/8/2014

    " Joan Anderson, a middle-aged women takes a break from her marriage to find herself. While I couldn't relate to this woman's life and what she had been through, I still enjoyed her story and the process by which she re-discovered herself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristi Sparta | 2/5/2014

    " I loved this book! A woman in her 50s trying to figure out the next phase of her life...boy, could I relate! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 2/4/2014

    " A quick enjoyable read. I think the setting in the cape really added to the book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tamidel | 1/24/2014

    " Basically this book represents everything I hate about this genre: it's self-indulgent and, worse, self-pitying. Joan Anderson is fortunate enough to have the means to take an extended period of time "off" from her marriage and mid-life crisis to figure herself out, but the life lessons virtually slip past her as she wallows in the "shoulda-couldas" of her life until now. Her story in not at all unusual, nor, frankly, all that sad or interesting. And unlike Elizabeth Gilbert in EAT, PRAY, LOVE, who had the good fortune of not only taking a year off from a bad marriage and unknown future, but who also got to do so in exotic locales, Anderson never shows real growth or self-actualization. She relays her year in Cape Cod in little more than journal entries, without the "a-ha!" And unlike Gilbert, there is no humor nor flair for prose. In fact, the most enthralling character in her memoir is not HER, but Joan Erickson, the widow of famed pyschologist Erik Erickson. And it is Joan Erickson's wisdom that Anderson passes on to her readers, nothing that she has earned on her own. The subtitle of the book is: "Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman." She needs to keep working on that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 1/17/2014

    " All I can say is wow, what a wake-up call. This book really speaks to me at this time of my life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/17/2014

    " Joan had an interesting journey, one which I can't completely identify with. I'm not sure who I would recommend this to, perhaps it would give men some incite to the conflicts women have with their roles as wife, mother, and self. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carey | 1/12/2014

    " This book was so good! It certainly made me think about how many choices I have! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tacey | 12/27/2013

    " Actually I would give this 3 1/2 stars, if I could. Will save a more in-depth review for after book club... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 12/19/2013

    " A beautiful story about a woman's journey into herself. Loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steph | 11/14/2013

    " Journey through a mid-life crisis where she goes to the beach to "rediscover" herself. Nothing groundbreaking but a sweet story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stefanie | 11/4/2013

    " I'm not as old as the character in the novel, but I most certainly can relate to feeling the way she does at times. I believe it takes an extraordinary person to walk away from one life and do what is best only for himself/herself in another life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sylvie | 10/24/2013

    " A wonderful writer and inspiring story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 10/7/2013

    " Great book on a woman who leaves her life and finds herself again. Sounds cliche.. Isn't. Quick read and has some great sequels about a friendship and marriage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 9/18/2013

    " It is a quiet journey. Perhaps not on the grandios scale of finding one's self as in Eat, Pray, Love, but a book about self discovery and re-creating one's self. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy :) | 8/13/2013

    " What a wonderful story - really made me sit back and think about what we do that makes us happy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 7/12/2013

    " Stacy shared this with me at a turning point in my life. Anyone facing change in their personal life---this is a must-read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Judith | 6/26/2013

    " A bad choice. A fluffy waffle of a memoir. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara | 4/27/2013

    " She spends a lot of the book mumbling thoughts and not enough time describing the events that are happening. Or developing any of the other characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mardell | 4/10/2013

    " Relevant! I'm going to keep this book to re-read occasionally. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 3/29/2013

    " Enjoyed her experience...style sometimes a bit wordy for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cia | 3/7/2013

    " Makes you analyze your own marriage and how you fit in to the world. Belongs with "A Gift by the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 1/8/2013

    " Book Club selection that was a wonderful read. It is about a woman who has always been the woman she thinks her husband, children, friends thinks she should be. She takes a year of living by herself to really find her true self. A good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shaleigh | 12/2/2012

    " I liked it a lot. i just ordered her other books. She has a good sense of humor, and as foggy a look on life as i have! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn | 10/28/2012

    " I liked this book, it captures thoughts, feelings and adventures or situations that will come up during a woman's life even if they are not yours. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evonne Walley | 10/17/2012

    " I read this at my Dad's Cape Cod house and I can't wait to read it again sometime soon. Beautiful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim Smith | 10/1/2012

    " Very very good story! Important for women approaching the mid-life mark to embark on a journey of self re-discovery. "

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About the Author
Joan Anderson is the author of the bestsellers A Year by the Sea and An Unfinished Marriage. She has also written numerous children’s novels, including 1787, The First Thanksgiving Feast, and The American Family Farm, as well as a critically acclaimed adult nonfiction book, Breaking the TV Habit. A Walk on the Beach is her third work of narrative nonfiction. A graduate of Yale University School of Drama, Anderson lives with her husband on Cape Cod.
About the Narrator

Laural Merlington is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator with over two hundred titles to her credit. An Audie Award nominee, she has also directed over one hundred audiobooks. She teaches college in her home state of Michigan.