cover image A WALK ON THE BEACH: Tales of Wisdom from an Unconventional Woman

A WALK ON THE BEACH: Tales of Wisdom from an Unconventional Woman

Joan Anderson, . . Broadway, $23.95 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-7679-1474-1

In A Year by the Sea and An Unfinished Marriage , Anderson shared her account of taking a break from her marriage and spending a year of solitude at the beach. Now, she introduces the inspiring woman she befriended during that time: Joan Erikson, wife of psychoanalyst Erik Erikson. After a chance meeting in their Cape Cod town, the women found their stories—one woman was purposefully apart from her husband; the other was adjusting to her husband's deteriorating health and imminent death—resonated significantly. Erikson's enthusiasm for life prompted Anderson to re-evaluate her own marriage and her role as she aged through the life stages that were the subject of Erikson's published writing, coauthored with her famous husband. Erikson reminded Anderson of the importance of continuing to learn, grow, change and, most notably, play as one ages, to be surprised by life and where it leads. She explained, "[A]s long as we are alive, we must keep transforming ourselves." Through the death of Erikson's husband and the return of Anderson's, readers see the women cheer each other's efforts to view the world with a fresh eye each day. While Anderson's experiences may ring familiar to readers of her earlier works, this is much more Erikson's story and philosophy, and for readers, every encounter with her is as much a treat as it was for Anderson, who wrote of her friend, "it was [she] who made me new, or at least [she] pushed me toward the brink." Agent, Liv Blumer. (On sale Apr. 13)

Forecast: Anderson's memoir should be popular among married women. Sales will benefit from an eight-city author tour and ads in the New York Times.