The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

shell seekers
The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (632 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Camellia

The Shell Seekers is a novel of connection: of one family, and of the passions and heartbreak that have held them together for three generations. The Shell Seekers is filled with real people–mothers and daughters, husband and lovers–inspired with real values. The Shell Seekers centers on Penelope Keeling–a woman you’ll always remember in world you’ll never forget. The Shell Seekers is a magical novel, the kind of reading experience that comes along only once in a long while.

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.

The awesomeness of this family-love story reveals so much about human nature. It lures you in gently and holds on tight.

This is Penelope Keeling’s story, but it encompasses the lives of those who influenced her and whom she influenced. The Shell Seekers has a uniqueness all its own.

Penelope is an elegant woman even in her well-worn, often shabby clothes. Her generosity, industry, joy of life, tolerance, and caring for others never seems to falter. Her gentle, steadfast inner strength shines like a golden thread in the tapestry of her whole life. Her elegance comes from within, one sees IT as she gives unstinting love, rises above mistakes and hard times and “makes-do” with what she has to work with.

Another bright thread, ever present, is her belief that money buys, not necessarily just material things, but it also buys freedom, independence, dignity, learning, and time. As she deals with her children, she comes to believe that the greatest gift a parent can give the children is to maintain one’s independence, be self-reliant, and not witless.

The reader first meets Penelope when she is in a secure place in life, even though her good health is iffy. She takes the reader back to not-secure times when mistakes were made, when World War II governed their lives, and when never-to-be-forgotten love abided for a time.

The reader get to vicariously experience life in Cornwall, England with Penelope and her artist father and his young wife Sophie, One gets to know the village people and the evacuees Doris and her two sons during scary, deprivation times of WWII. Later, life is shared with her in London with her children and a wrinkle-in-time month visit in Spain when one gets to know her daughter Olivia and her friends Cosmo and Antonia. The reader gets caught right in the middle of the never-ending conflicts that her other two children, Nancy and Noel, have with her. But one of the best experiences for this reader was the time Penelope shared with Antonia and Danus, the gardener—made my heart feel good.

Rosamunde Pilcher makes no excuses for the sins of the characters (there are many), but the reader is privy to so much more than missteps. One sees the beauty of life through Penelope’s eyes as she copes and accepts whatever comes her way, never admitting defeat, and all the while stays true and honest to herself.

The Shell Seekers is a family-love saga—compelling , satisfying, memorable, and is beautifully,masterfully written.

Speak Your Mind