If, when deciding to pick up this 500+ pages tome, you’re expecting some kind of plot, this is surely not the book for you. If you enjoy evocative dreamy novels and atmospheric writing about mundane beautiful things, then this is the perfect choice. The Shell Seekers is exactly what the blurb tells you it is: a novel of connection: of one family, and of the passions and heartbreak that have held them together for three generations. The quintessential plotless novel. It is about realistic charact
I'm not a huge fan of genreless fiction, not in the least when it has a strong romance-vibe, but I found The Shell Seekers to be a pleasant read. It was not at all taxing and can be described as escapist literature, and requires not an awful lot of mental agility to get through, but that was part of its charm.
English romance novelist and short story writer Rosamunde Pilcher was born in Lelant, in Cornwall, England. The daughter of a Royal Navy commander, she was educated at public schools in both England and Wales, and served in the Women's Royal Naval Service from 1942 to 1946. After leaving the Naval Service, she married Graham Hope Pilcher in December 1946. Pilcher was interested in writing from an early age, and was encouraged by her parents to pursue this interest. At age 16 she submitted a short story to the editor of three women's magazines. Though the story was rejected, the editor told her to keep trying. This contact led to the publication of another story a short time later. She then began a successful career writing what she describes as "sort of mimsy little love stories" under the pseudonym Jane Fraser. Her first novel, Halfway to the Moon (1949), was published under that name, and for a number of years she continued to write under that name as well as her own. Pilcher specializes in "light reading for intelligent ladies," as she has stated in an interview in Publishers Weekly. The author of over 20 novels, she has also written numerous short stories, many of which have appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine. One of Pilcher's longest and most complex novels, as well as one of her most popular works, is The Shell Seekers (1988). The novel focuses on Penelope Keeling, an independent, slightly offbeat woman who recalls, through flashbacks, her idyllic childhood in Cornwall, her hasty wartime marriage, and her troubled relationship with two of her three children. Now settled in a country cottage filled with reminders of her past, Penelope draws strength and comfort from these mementos, especially a painting entitled "The Shell Seekers," which was painted by her father. Although not autobiographical, the novel loosely parallels Pilcher's own life in a number of ways. Other works include Sleeping Tiger (1967), The End of the Summer (1971), Wild Mountain Thyme (1979), and Voices in Summer (1982).