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The Shell Seekers (1987)

by Rosamunde Pilcher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,340733,170 (4.01)114
Artist's daughter Penelope Keeling can look back on a full and varied life: a Bohemian childhood in London and Cornwall, an unhappy wartime marriage, and the one man she truly loved. She has brought up three children - and learned to accept them as they are. Yet she is far too energetic and independent to settle sweetly into pensioned-off old-age. And when she discovers that her most treasured possession, her father's painting, The Shell Seekers, is now worth a small fortune, it is Penelope who must make the decisions that will determine whether her family can continue to survive as a family, or be split apart.… (more)
  1. 91
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (MyriadBooks)
  2. 30
    Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher (MyriadBooks)
  3. 00
    The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (thea-block)
    thea-block: Similar stories of inheritance, entitled children, and the interactions between wealth/society/family. Startlingly similar characters - almost feels like the same story 30 years apart!
  4. 01
    Angel Puss by Colleen McCullough (Fliss88)
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» See also 114 mentions

English (66)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  Greek (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
8401492513
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
When I heard this was one of my grandma’s favorite books I put off reading it. I assumed it would be dated, but instead I found a wonderful novel about the complicated relationship between mothers and their children. It's a story that spans WWII and an artist’s studio in Cornwall, and a life-altering vacation in Ibiza. There were so many lines that I loved and the characters of Penelope and her daughter Olivia will stay with me forever.

“She enjoyed train journeys. The telephone could not ring, you could sit down, you didn’t have to think.”

“Like a vessel that has been empty for too long, she felt herself filled with peace.”

“Solving problems and making decisions invariably revitalized Olivia, and all at once she felt better.”

“Your children never stopped being your children. Even when they were 38 and successful career women. You could bear anything for yourself, but seeing your children hurt was unendurable.”

“Were you lonely?” “I was alone. But that is not the same as being lonely.”

“Seeing her turn from infant to toddler was like watching a bud open into a flower–a slow process, but delightful.”
“He sent you his dearest lone, and says he’s writing you a long letter. Not a bread-and-butter letter, a toast-and-marmalade one.”

“She had not cried for Mumma when she died but she wept now. Privately, with no person to jeer at her weakness, she allowed the tears to fall unchecked.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Apr 7, 2022 |
Such a remarkable book! Engaging and well plotted with a full circle! Loved how it ended with closure!

Here's my full review:
http://www.sholee.net/2017/10/mpov-shell-seekers.html ( )
  Sholee | Sep 9, 2021 |
A book full of well developed characters. I really got to know them and was sorry to see the book end. I'm sorry Ms Pilcher is no longer with us. I would have loved to explore the lives of some of these folks past what we read here. Especially Penelope's two children Noel and Nancy. I think there is a possibility that they might grow up and become better people now that their mother is gone. I trust Olivia will do well. But am very curious about Danus and Antonia. Will they live the life that Penelope missed out on? It somehow took me a very long time to get to this. It has been on my TBR pile for years. I enjoyed it a lot. It was perfect for the moment. ( )
  njcur | Jul 21, 2021 |
A new all-time favorite for me, made all the more delicious because it was a favorite of my mother's, and I'd known about it for years before picking it up by chance. A beguiling, engrossing story, perfectly told. I won't soon forget Penelope Keeling and her friends and family. Bravo, Rosamunde Pilcher! ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pilcher, RosamundeAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gordon, HannahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for my children,
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She sometimes thought that for her, Nancy Chamberlain, the most straightforward or innocent occupation was doomed to become, inevitably, fraught with tedious complication.
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Artist's daughter Penelope Keeling can look back on a full and varied life: a Bohemian childhood in London and Cornwall, an unhappy wartime marriage, and the one man she truly loved. She has brought up three children - and learned to accept them as they are. Yet she is far too energetic and independent to settle sweetly into pensioned-off old-age. And when she discovers that her most treasured possession, her father's painting, The Shell Seekers, is now worth a small fortune, it is Penelope who must make the decisions that will determine whether her family can continue to survive as a family, or be split apart.

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