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Book Club: A Year by the Sea by Joan Anderson

By Margaret Manning May 03, 2014 Mindset

“A Year by the Sea” is a book about a woman’s gift to herself. It is a story of transformation. On one level it is about a woman taking time to “find herself.” On another, it has an edge of gutsy courage that makes it stand out.

As her role as mother and wife changes, the author faces the emptiness that so many older women experience. What is unique is that she decides not to complain but to make a change.

When her husband is offered new job, her own future becomes unclear and she worries about becoming irrelevant. Realizing how she had ignored her own needs for many years, she refuses to follow him. Even though she feels lost without the definition of her family and husband she retreats to a family cottage on Cape Cod. It is a story of one woman’s self-discovery, but the author is willing to share her roadmap with others.

There is something about the way Joan Anderson reflects on the lessons she learns that make it a journey worth sharing. Women in the Sixty and Me community can learn from her experiences because they will see themselves reflected in her tough decision to put herself first. This is hard for women of any age.

The author says that we are on a daily journey of discovery that doesn’t end at a specific age, status or accomplishment. Every day is a new opportunity to connect with who you really are and define what is important to you. The truth is that you don’t need to go away to a cottage by the sea to realize this. The author’s journey allows us to curl up on a sofa and travel virtually with her, to let our own discoveries surface. This might be a great book to buy for a friend or yourself as a Mother’s Day gift.

If you don’t already have a copy of “A Year by the Sea” you can get it on Amazon.

To kick things off, here are a few questions. Please add your thoughts in the comments:

Have you ever wanted to leave everything and everyone for a year and retreat from the world?

Do you have the courage to be physically resilient and the cope by yourself for 12 months?

Did you feel that her husband should have joined her?

Would you say no to your husband if he wanted to move somewhere that you did not want to go?

What was the most poignant moment of the book for you?

Do you have a favourite quote from the book?

What was the author’s biggest challenge on her journey and how did she overcome it?

Where would you go to get away for a year to be alone with yourself?

I hope that you enjoy this book! Please share your thoughts below.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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