Mikejencostanzo's Reviews > The Shell Seekers

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
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Dec 27, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed
Read from August 05 to October 01, 2010

I love author Rosamunde Pilcher's writing style. It's not often that I come across a book about which I can honestly say this. Pilcher's writing is unselfconsciously eloquent. I also admire her primary character Penelope, who cares far more about people than material possessions. Saying it that way sounds trite, I realize. But it's fleshed out as we get to know a woman who dresses always in the same worn outfits she owned twenty years ago, because frankly, they were beautiful outfits then, and still are now, just a bit more threadbare.

Not everything about Pilcher is glorious, I admit. I found myself most turned off by the author's concession to the age-old trap of "passion trumps godliness" that has become somewhat of a cliche in modern storytelling. Consider films like Pleasantville, Chocolat, and Mona Lisa Smile which draw the viewer into stupefied agreement that freedom to live according to your passions is so much more "in" than prudish adherence to empty moralistic standards. In all three films, as well as in The Shell Seekers, we find ourselves watching as our heroes and heroines sleep together outside of marriage. Whether it be pre-marital, extra-marital, post-marital, you name it, it's portrayed as whatever brand of "cool" the author/producer is preaching. In Pleasantville, it's "modern," Chocolat calls it "compassionate," Mona Lisa Smile sells it as "liberated," and Rosamunde Pilcher's flavor of the day is "bohemian."

--Jen
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