I first became aware of this a twenty-something new bride visiting my in-laws. The fact that my mother in law raved about it was, to my younger self, a very good reason not to bother with it. I'm a bit sorry now that I'm middle aged myself that I waited all this time because I really loved this book. I'm not sure why...perhaps because I in no small measure identified with the central character of the book Penelope. It is her life that is the central hook on which the rest of the story hangs.She is in some respects an unconventional woman,child of an artist father and french mother, brought up in a vaguely bohemian style between Cornwall and London and various jaunts to the pre ww2 continent.
'The Shell Seekers 'of the the title is a painting given to her by her father. As she ages and has a heart attack it becomes of great interest to two of her three children, none of whom are particularly involved with their mother. When it becomes known that the artist's works are becoming valuable they become very interested indeed..
There is so much more to the story than this; Penelope's life and love outside of her stultifying and unhappy marriage, new friendships that come into her life to the chagrin of her children, and her beloved Cornwall..a place I have never visited, and after reading this I wish had..
This doesn't purport to be great literature but it is a great story..I shall certainly be looking out for the authors other works..