#BookReview: The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

Reviewer: Annie

I received a review copy

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde PilcherSummary:

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, in this beloved Cornwall novel from Rosamunde Pilcher.


I am normally scared off by books over 400 pages, as they tend to lose momentum, lag, or get boring.  That was most certainly not the case with “The Shell Seekers”.

I read this book when I was 17, when it was first released.  To read it again was a gift, but most importantly, I saw things differently now that I am a grown woman.  Now seems to be the time to reread my favorite books from High School and College!!

Rosamunde Pilcher is a literal genius, filling each page with wonderful descriptions of people, places, activities and things.  I have been to England, and she describes it perfectly…but, I need to get to Ibiza!  I thought the way she set up each chapter was pure genius.  You are meant to really know her characters, and you walk away waiting for the chance to pick up the book again, and meet more people!

I know, I am raving about the book and Rosamunde Pilcher without telling you about the story, it is just that I am so honored that I got to visit with her again.  I look forward to reading more of her stories.

Penelope Keeling is the Matriarch of a family of three children that all left their childhood feeling differently about how they were raised.  It was so intriguing how they all led the same life; yet two children held a lot of resentment about their lives, while one felt it was perfection!  Penelope’s youngest daughter, Olivia fondly remembers her Mother cooking in the kitchen and ironing.  Olivia always remembered it as a place of security.  Nancy, the eldest daughter, was embarrassed and held a lot of shame regarding how her mother lived, swearing to never be in her kitchen cooking, or being anything like her mother.  Nancy wanted to eat in the fancy dining room and have it served to her on a properly set table.  Then, we have the man of the family, the middle child, Noel, who is just moving through life without any real meaning.  He lived with his mother until the age of 23, when Penelope decided to move and was not taking him along!  She simply told him he was old enough to take care of himself.  I loved that!!  Yet, he missed her terribly, and could not understand how she was getting on without missing him.

After so many years passing between reading this book for the first time, and now, it is shocking how much you forget.  Yet, as each part of the story unfolded, I remembered.  Its unfolding was a true gift.  Rosamunde Pilcher weaves this story so wonderfully between, past and present, one child to another…I never got lost.  (Yes, this happens to me occasionally)

At the epicenter of this story is a painting called “The Shell Seekers”, painted by Penelope’s father, Lawrence Stern.  She still has it hanging in her home, along with a few of his other paintings.  Nancy discovers that her Grandfather’s paintings are starting to sell for large amounts of money, and she is thinking of ways to get this painting sold, as is her brother, Noel.  And they are devising plans on what they could do with the money.  Olivia thought it best to stay with her Mother, as that is what she wanted.  Honestly, she did not think about the monetary value as her siblings did.

What happens in this book will open your eyes to what you value most.

“The Shell Seekers” was one of the best reads I have had in a long time for many reasons.  It stood the test of time, and I will be sure to read it again in a few years.

Take a seat; anywhere, anytime and visit with this family.  You will be pleased you did.

5+ Stars

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