Many years have gone by since I read it the first time. Remembered that I loved it, but not the story itself. Oddly enough, I could recall the street name in London — Oakley Street, and the main character’s name; Penelope, but that was all. It’s partly contemporary, but spans over a long time, starting before the outbreak of WWII, and takes place both in Cornwall and London.
To say that the book is about a painting — The Shell Seekers — would be a huge understatement, even though it is always lingering there in the background. It’s a novel that touches your heart on so many levels … about how deeply hurtful human greed can get. How grown-up children will have to learn to live with regrets of their insensitivity, when it’s too late for making nice. Only too common that we take our parents for granted and act as if they were going to live forever.
All the characters in this book were very credible to me, and it feels like I miss some of them, now when I’m finished with it. My favourite character was [of course] Penelope, a strong but kind woman who endured a lot of adversities, due to one, fateful mistake/unfortunate decision. She never strays away from her sincerely kind and down-to-earth personality, and bears her sorrow stoically, without ever telling anyone.
Without revealing too much of the story; if I could have changed anything at all in this, I would have liked Olivia to have been Richard’s daughter. If you read it, you can always bear that in mind towards the end. That’s the only thing I would possibly change.
I would recommend this book to anyone who takes a liking to those human interest stories, you will neither regret nor forget it, ever.
Not only have I been reading … but also played with my new toy, the Waterlogue app, as you can see in the images here above [they’re all clickable for better viewing]. It’s a delight to see my own photos ‘grow’ into a watercolour painting before my eyes on the iPhone/iPad.