The Shell Seekers Author:Rosamunde Pilcher 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 s... more »he recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer...and it lies in her heart.« less
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.
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.