The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

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Shifting in time, the novel tells the story of Penelope Keeling, the daughter of unconventional parents (an artist father and his much-younger French wife), examining her past and her relationships with her adult children. When the novel opens, Penelope is in her 60's and has just been discharged from the hospital after what is seemingly a heart attack. Penelope's life from young womanhood to the present is revealed in pieces, from her own point-of-view and those of her children. Much of the forward impetus of the novel involves the work of her father, including a painting called "The Shell Seekers," given to Penelope as a wedding present.

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The 462nd greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 16th on The 100 Favorite Novels of Librarians (
  2. - 90th on Koen Book Distributors Top 100 Books of the Past Century (

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