A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman

From the first page to the last, Joan Anderson paints herself as the dictionary definition of white privilege – a self-absorbed middle-aged woman, not the self-sacrificing mother and wife label she metaphorically tattoos on her forehead. Her attempts to find herself, such as frolicking with seals, taking a job in a fish shop, and befriending another egotistic woman, are stereotypical enlightening activities – in other words, the talented writer stoops to patronize her readers. This memoir is an insult to hard-working women who find themselves in the midst of busy and demanding lives without the convenience of dropping everything to spend twelve months in a seaside refuge. Joan Anderson would have done the literary world a service to stay in her cottage and keep her unfinished thoughts to herself.

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