Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: THE SHELL SEEKERS by Rosamunde Pilcher

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Originally Published: 1987
Genre: Contemporary 
Source: Print ARC
Stars: 4


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.

This is the perfect read to start off summer. Well, summer's a few weeks away, but why not start early? The Shell Seekers is a pretty lengthy book and when I was contacted to review, I was a little hesitant. Not because the book was long but because it stated that it was originally printed back in the eighties. But I went to read some reviews and found that the story looked very promising. Plus it had
to be good if it was still getting printed so many years later. 

The night I opened up the book, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. To me, this family didn't seem very loving. In fact, I didn't get the impression they liked each other all that much. What they did was merely tolerate one another. I didn't think anyone of the characters were very likable. The mother of the three main characters didn't even like her own grandchildren. Granted, the kids were brats but to not like your own flesh and blood? It was hard to stomach but I know not all families are like the Brady bunch. 

The beginning of the story was slow starting but not so bad that you want to stop reading. It's one of those books that the more you read, the more you want to know, and the more you know you just have to see where it ends. Penelope has just suffered from a mild heart attack and discharges herself from the hospital much to the doctors chagrin. Out of all her adult children, only one will leave her to do what she wants no matter the consequences. And out if all the characters, she was the one I liked the least. 

The characters feel all too real and towards the end of the novel I felt myself sympathizing with them. Of course there were times when I was like what the heck is wrong with these people! In the end, I think it endeared me to them. I think it showed a picture of a what would seem like a normal family, and instead we got to see how very flawed each and every one of them were. 

Overall, if you're looking for a new beach read full of good writing that's unputdownable, then this is the book for you! It's alluring and lyrical words will keep you up well into the night. I know it will be one that I know I can go to again and again. I love when a book can take me away to another time and place! 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy Links:
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About the Author:
Rosamunde Scott was born on 22 September 1924 in Lelant, Cornwall, England, UK, daughter of Helen and Charles Scott, a British commander. Just before her birth her father was posted in Burma, her mother remained in England. She attended St. Clare's Polwithen and Howell's School Llandaff before going on to Miss Kerr-Sanders' Secretarial College. She began writing when she was seven, and published her first short story when she was 18. From 1943 through 1946, Pilcher served with the Women's Naval Service. On 7 December 1946, she married Graham Hope Pilcher, a war hero and jute industry executive who died in March 2009. They moved to Dundee, Scotland, where she still lives today with a dog in Perthshire. They had two daughters and two sons, and fourteen grandchildren. Her son, Robin Pilcher, is also a novelist.

In 1949, her first book, a romance novel, was published by Mills & Boon, under the pseudonym Jane Fraser. She published a further ten novels under that name. In 1955, she also began writing under her married name Rosamunde Pilcher, by 1965 she her own name to all of her novels. In 1996, her novel Coming Home won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by Romantic Novelists' Association. She retired from writing in 2000. Two years later, she was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).


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