The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher


I’ve already said a bunch about this favorite book, both here in my brief Goodreads review:

I cannot say enough good things about this, one of my all time very favorite books. What a pleasure it was to read it again, comforting and familiar, and a nice long engrossing book. I honestly didn’t want it to end. A lovely long saga, cleverly putting together the story by weaving together different strands in different times. I usually think of this mostly as a WWII book, but actually that is only part of it.

and then here, in my post about rereading. But I’ll add a few more thoughts, not reflecting on rereading, but on the book itself.

This is one of my all time favorite books, though it is in a tie with Coming Home. (Somehow though, this is the one that I think of most often.)

I love how this story is put together with different sections focused on different characters, and how time is fluid, going back to the World War II years to show the heart of Penelope’s life. It is such a satisfying story and achieves that wonderful feeling where, at the end of the character’s life, you feel as satisfied and ready as that character is.

The descriptions of Cornwall and the artistic community are wonderful, and I loved reading about the easy luxurious bohemians of the time. As always, Olivia’s time in Ibiza seemed like a dream and no matter what I read now about the wealthy hedonism of Ibiza, it will always be in my head just like it was in the book.

One thing did stand out to me this time as exceptionally dated, or possibly backward (here’s a spoiler, stop reading if you haven’t read the book)………….. the build up of Danus’s secret felt incredibly anticlimactic to find out he was epileptic. And people’s reactions were preposterous. I know it was in the 1980s but honestly, would anyone have reacted like that? It seemed ridiculous. But that’s a small quibble with this most marvelous of stories.

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