Artist's daughter Penelope Keeling can look back on a full and varied life: a Bohemian childhood in London and Cornwall, an unhappy wartime marriage, and the one man she truly loved. She has brought up three children - and learned to accept them as they are. Yet she is far too energetic and independent to settle sweetly into pensioned-off old ...
Artist's daughter Penelope Keeling can look back on a full and varied life: a Bohemian childhood in London and Cornwall, an unhappy wartime marriage, and the one man she truly loved. She has brought up three children - and learned to accept them as they are. Yet she is far too energetic and independent to settle sweetly into pensioned-off old-age. And when she discovers that her most treasured possession, her father's painting, The Shell Seekers, is now worth a small fortune, it is Penelope who must make the decisions that will determine whether her family can continue to survive as a family, or be split apart.
I read this book again and again and the charm of its story never dims.
Sep 24, 2008
A Book to Read and Re-read
I would have to say that this book is probably my favorite book. I read this book years ago when it was first published and loved it. I re-read it from time to time. It is a wonderful family saga told from the perspective of the matriarch of the family, Penelope. It is set primarily in England but there is a great chapter set in Ibiza. The writing is so rich that you feel as though you are a part of this novel or want to be. When the novel begins, Nancy, the older dowdier sister is traveling by train to meet her sister, the career woman, in London to discuss the fate of their mother who has suffered a heart attack. The description of Nancy's life in a big old English country house is what got me hooked. I could not put this book down. I would read it in the kitchen while I was cooking dinner. It is filled with love, sadness, dreams, regrets, secrets: everything you want in a novel. If you want a warm novel to read for a cool Autumn evening, this is it.
Publishers Weekly, 1987-11-13 On the heels of a hasty wartime marriage, Penelope Keeling is left to repent at leisure in the English seaside town of Porthkerris, where her artist father and her French mother are spending the duration of World War II. Safe in the embracing arms of that warm household, Penelope forgets her sour husband and takes a lover, and in that relationship, too, she weathers the war's privations and its hardest blows. In a beautifully detailed family saga that shifts effortlessly back and forth in time, Pilcher (Under Gemini) recounts Penelope's story and that of her three children. When their grandfather's work suddenly comes into vogue, Nancy, obsessed over status, and sleek Noel, adept at getting the most and giving the least, join in urging their mother to sell The Shell Seekers, a painting that gives her great joy. Only Olivia, a cool and collected magazine editor, refuses to be party to their barely concealed avarice. Pilcher's 13th book is a satisfying and savory family novel, in which rich layers of description and engagingly flawed characters more than make up for the occasional cliche. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; Troll Book Club main selection. (January 18) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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