The Shell Seekers is a warm and satisfying family novel, with rich layers of description and engagingly flawed characters that you will come to care deeply about. This story of this English family begins with 64-year-old Penelope Keeling returning to her country house after an illness, and her three adult children's varying reactions. Each chapter centers on one character in the family's history, with the unifying thread being a beloved oil painting entitled "The Shell Seekers." Rosamund Pilcher's characters are well-drawn, real, and engrossing people. A thoroughly charming book, light fiction that is a satisfying read whether you are relaxing on the beach or curled up in an armchair beside a cheery fire.
Is more than 5 stars an option?, September 1, 2001
Reviewer: Denise Bentley "Kelsana" (The California Redwoods)
This has got to be one of the best books I have ever read. Pilcher takes you in, warms your heart and then wraps you up in the tales of her story, which is spun so intricately with love. Her writing style leaves no corner of a setting or character uncovered. You can see the tilt of their head or an upturned smile, even the scent that they might be wearing or the sea breeze as the wind whips the hair against your face. She is a master.
Penelope is in the later years of her life. After time spent in the hospital she is facing her mortality, along with the present she is remembering her life, loves, and secrets. One of which she has carried quietly over the decades. She is taking a good hard look at her 3 grown children who have not all turned out like a mother might hope for. As they quibble over Penelope's assets she is disgusted by their behavior.
I became so entranced by this book that it was all I wanted to read. There are several surprises along the way and the book is filled with characters that are quite memorable. I have read and enjoyed many of Pilcher's works, one of my favorites being WINTER SOLSTICE, but I have to say this was indeed my favorite of all time.
I'm surprised how highly rated this book has long-since been. It is neither a 'good read' or even a 'worth-while' read, in fact I found it extremely boring and quite a waste of time. The characters are fairly flat and with few exceptions, not nearly interesting enough to warant the lenght of the book or setting. I was horribly disappointed given the high reviews this book has previously gained.
This hefty saga is about Penelope Keeling, a 64-yr-old British woman with three grown children. She's recently had a heart attack, and is returning to her country home. The story shifts back and forth in time, from Penelope's childhood to the present day. "The Shell Seekers," refers to an oil painting that was painted by Penelope's father. As in all of Pilcher's books, the characters are believable, fully-developed, and interesting. It's a long story, but well worth the time and effort. After reading this book, I systematically read every one of her books.
Rosamunde Pilcher is a totally engrossing writer. You just can't put her books down. The characters are so vivid, the writing so mesmerizing, and she deals so well with family interaction, relationships, its amazing! This is one of her classics.
One of my favorite fiction novels. Just a plain good story! Perfect read for when you are on vacation and can let your mind escape. The author does an amazing job of weaving a very touching love story. This story will stay with you a long time and will touch your heart.
"Beautifuly done...a book about families... when the reader closes this book, it is with a sense of regret... Regret that there is no more, " says the Boston Herald. "A lovely story, the best, really assorbing book I've read in a long time. The kind you hate to put down and especially finish," states the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. While West Coast Review of Books, reports, " A novel that exudes warmth, joy, and family interaction with men & women we will long remember." "A huge warm saga. A deeply staisfying story written with love" announces The New York Times Book Review.[Plus] month after month an unforgetable New York Times bestseller."
This book is one of my all-time favorites! Once I started reading it, I did not want it to end. If you have not read any books by Rosamunde Pilcher, you MUST!!! I have read every book she has written and by far this one is my favorite. Oh wait, but then again there is September.....and how could I forget Coming Home!!! (both written by Rosamunde Pilcher and absolutely in my all-time favorite books too) She is a definite must-read author!!! How I wish she was still writing books! One of the few authors I have always wished I could meet.
The Shell Seekers is the warm, convincing saga of three generations of Keeling women, women with whom readers will connect emotionally as they fall in love and battle heartbreaks in a world of glamour and charm, and conversely, simplicity and peace.
One of those rare ones that you just don't want to put down. Without giving the ending, I will say that a sequel easily could have been tied into it. I have looked for one for years to come along; but I've never found where she did a follow up on this family.
The Shell Seekers is the tale of three generations of an English family with roots in London and the wilds of Cornwall, and of a cherished painting that has passed from generation to generation and now threatens to tear the family apart.
The Shell Seekers centers on Penelope Keeling, a woman you'll always remember in a world you'll never forget. From Cornwall to the Cotswolds to Spain and back...An unforgetable story of 3 generations and the passion and heartbreak that has held them together.
I found it a little difficult at first to get into this book, but once I did, it was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I'm not a regular romance reader, but Pilcher has done an excellent job creating characters that I could fall in love with and writing a beautiful love story. I would highly recommend this book.
The Shell Seekers is probably one of my most favorite books. Rosamunde Pichers' character development and story line is awesome. One story line works with another until they meet at the end of the book. Truly worth reading.
For years I passed this book by, thinking it was of the "romance" genre. Someone's comment made me pick it up and I was soon lost in it. A fine story, true-to-life characters, with rich period and setting. A very satisfying read.
I truly enjoyed this book, mostly because I love historical fiction, England, and art. I do not know why it took me so long to read it, and how I missed it years ago, but it was very fine. I highly recommend it.
I loved this book!! It is one of the few paperback books I hold on to and, so far, will not share with others :) I actually found it at a second hand shop about 15 years ago and consider it a true treasure.
At the end of a long and useful life,Penelope Keeling's prized possession is THE SHELL SEEKERS,painted by her father,and symbolizing her unconventional life,from bohemian childhood to wartime romance.When her grown children learn their grandfather's work is now worth a fortune,each has an idea as to what Penelope should do.But as she recalls the passions,tragedies,and secrets of her life,she knows there is only one answer..and it lies in her heart.