Heather's Reviews > The Shell Seekers

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
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Jul 04, 2010

did not like it
Read in June, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Disappointing. There are lots of interesting parts, but so many things about the story bothered me that I can't recommend the book. I wonder if many of the reviewers (especially the NYT Book Review) actually read it.

[SPOILER ALERT:] I was shocked at how Penelope (P) talked to and about two of her children, Nancy and Noel - NOT in a loving way. Yes they have flaws, but P doesn't seem to have the self awareness to realize that she bears some of the responsibility for that: Noel reminds her of her disliked ex-husband, and that has to have affected her lifelong relationship with him; and when Nancy was born P didn't make any effort to bond with her, Doris (an evacuee) raised her, and P thinks that's just fine. It's disturbing that P doesn't spend time with her grandchildren - she doesn't like them - but she might have been a good influence on them if she'd tried to have a genuine relationship. P thinks her daughter Olivia is wonderful, but I think she's cold, selfish, shallow, career-obsessed, and promiscuous.

I could go on and on, but I'll just mention one more thing. The gardener Damus says he's too proud and independent to ask his wealthy father for a loan to start a nursery, yet he takes money from P (in the form of her father's sketches), a woman he's known for only a few weeks. And P gave the sketches to him because he reminds her of the man with whom she had an adulterous affair. Seems wrong to me.
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Reading Progress

04/05 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Mikejencostanzo Ironic that the New York Times Book Review is cited as saying this book is "... A deeply satisfying story written with love." I too found Pilcher's disgust with Noel and Nancy anything but loving.

--Jen


Jessica Green I'm still reading the book, but am pretty nonplussed at all the 5 star reviews. I don't think the book is well written (it's chatty) and there's no depth to the characters.

The author wants the reader to like Penelope and Olivia and dislike Nancy and Noel, but I found both Penelope and Olivia to be as selfish and self-absorbed as they accused Nancy and Noel of being.

I also found the relationship between Sophie and Lawrence Stern disturbing. He raises her as his daughter, she 'slips' into his bed, gets pregnant, they get married and all is bliss? Perhaps it's because she's French? *sarcasm*.


Mikejencostanzo BTW, Pilcher more-or-less redeems herself with regards to beating up on Noel in her sequel "September."

--Jen


Helen Gaye Brewster There's a sequel? Noooo! Will I be able to resist the urge to read the sequel to a book that I found predictable and maudlin but hard to put down?


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