- Author Rosamunde Pilcher
I’m not sure I completely understand why The Shell Seekers is on the BBC’s Big Read list - it’s good, but it doesn’t feel all that special to me. The story centres around one older lady, and her extended family, with each chapter following a different character to build a bigger picture and tell the history of the protagonist.
It’s an interesting enough story, it’s always fun being presented with a group of characters and gradually finding out how they got to be who they are and what makes them tick. They’re not all very likeable - in fact, it’s a wonder that a person as nice as Penelope could end up with two out of three children being really quite hideous as human beings. Still, they aren’t the first and won’t be the last characters written who are solely motivated by money.
There’s something about the writing that seems very stilted and proper, descriptions all seemed too perfect - the food in particular seemed very unbelievable. Delicious baked trout one day, followed by mouth-watering roast beef the next. Boiled eggs for breakfast, tea and toast in the afternoon - the food seemed to play a big part in the story and well, it just seemed too good to be true.
My only other complaint, and possibly something that didn’t help with the stiff upper lip feeling throughout the book - was the over-use of things like “Do not say such things” and “I just could not do a thing about it.” Easy enough to read, but really, the occasional contraction would not go amiss.
In summary, an interesting enough story but it didn’t really grab me as much as it clearly has others.