cover image A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman

A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman

Joan Anderson. Doubleday Books, $22.95 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-385-49139-6

""I'm beginning to think that real growing only begins after we've done the adult things we're supposed to do,"" confides Anderson, a journalist and author of children's books (Twins on Toes, etc.). She came to this conclusion after a year living alone in a cottage on Cape Cod. Feeling that her marriage had stagnated by the time her two sons were grown, Anderson surprised and distressed her husband by refusing to move out-of-state with him when he accepted a new job. In this accessible memoir, she shares the joy and self-knowledge she found during her time of semi-isolation. In order to supplement the income from her royalty checks, she found a job in the local fish market and began making new friends who sustained her. After her hot water heater broke down and her husband refused to help, she earned the additional money for the repair by digging and selling clams. Through vivid and meticulous observations about the natural world, Anderson makes clear her strong affinity for the ocean, with its changing tides, subtle colors and burgeoning life. A Memorial Day reunion brought Anderson and her husband closer; shortly thereafter she embraced his plan to retire and live with her in the cottage. Anderson has recently begun a ""Weekend by the Sea"" program for women who need time to reflect. (Apr.)