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Publisher's Summary

"A huge warm saga...A deeply satisfying story written with love and confidence." (Maeve Binchy for The New York Times Book Review)

Thirty years after The Shell Seekers swept into the hearts of readers across the globe, Rosamunde Pilcher's unforgettable saga appears for the first time as an unabridged digital audiobook. Masterfully narrated by Actress Hayley Atwell, this timeless story will captivate listeners from the very first track.

At the end of a long and useful life, Penelope Keeling's prized possession is The Shell Seekers, painted by her father and symbolizing her unconventional life, from bohemian childhood to wartime romance. When her grown children learn their grandfather's work is now worth a fortune, each has an idea as to what Penelope should do. But as she recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer...and it lies in her heart.

This spellbinding audiobook will draw listeners into a narrative that spans generations, examines the changing dynamics of a resilient British family, and captures emotional experiences ranging from loss to love.

©1987 Rosamunde Pilcher (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Wonderful story & writing

I read this when it first came out years ago. To listen to it was so pleasurable. The narration was good. It is frightfully pricey so I was glad to have a credit to use. But the novel is so beautiful, Rich with description and color. I highly recommend it.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Life As A Battleground

I read this book decades ago when it was first published in print and I enjoyed it at the time. I was really excited to find an unabridged version here on audible. Pilcher paints beautiful word images describing the countryside, the garden, the beach, and the kitchen. My problem lies in the repetitive nature of these descriptions--after a few times around it all sounds the same. For example, there were at least four dinners or lunches of roast leg of lamb with baby potatoes. Each time this meal was described I groaned and thought--oh surely they aren't eating lamb again.

Overall, I was depressed by this story. I found the constant family fighting and nastiness tedious to listen to. So much whining and plotting and criticizing--it was just awful. At one point in the book the main character's mother explains that she is sorry she can't help but her own life is the only thing that matters. I guess this self-centered and selfish focus playing out over four generations of a family and the havoc it created was part of Pilcher's plan. To me it just served to make the characters completely unlikeable and the sweeping saga tiresome.

I have almost three hours still to go and I find that I can't finish listening to this book. I couldn't care less what happens next. Part of me wonders if the narration played a role in how awful everyone sounded? It might have helped to drive the negativity over the top. I'm just sorry that I stuck with it as long as I did.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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One of my first thoughts was...

"God, if I wanted to be back fighting with my family, I'd just call them up!" 😆

And then I fell into this story and enjoyed every second in its warm kitchens and wraparound gardens.

Hayley Atwell does the many characters proud, and I, like many others, was sorry when it all came to an end.

I certainly will read more of Ms. Pilcher's novels, and will follow Ms Atwell also.

Jay Thomas

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Back again

I read this book some twenty or thirty years ago and remembered how much I enjoyed it but didn't remember why. So, going back again, but to audio now. I'm glad I did because the woman reading the story did so with immense expression and dignity.

In my younger days imagine my love of the story was a teaching of how to age with grace even with struggles and people you love not quite reaching your perceived Potencial. That still rings true for me now, but more so is that the lead character held onto her self, intuitions, and basic decency. This I take with me and am thankful for Ms. Pilcher's gift.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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just lovely

the descriptions in this book made me feel like I was there with the characters but not too much that it was boring. the narrator was awesome and I felt like it was my sister reading to me. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, happy read.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Thrilled this is available unabridged!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This story is vivid but not too fast paced. You get to savor your surroundings and settle in and get to know the characters. This is one of my favorite stories by one of my favorite authors ever.

What other book might you compare The Shell Seekers to and why?

Coming Home also by Rosamunde Pilcher (hopefully to be re-released soon on Audible in unabridged format).is another story set in Cornwall with equally wonderful characters and story. If you loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, you might really love this author and this book especially.

What didn’t you like about Hayley Atwell’s performance?

I admit I am biased as this is the 3rd unabridged narration I have heard, and if it had been the first one, I would have been happier.
I first listened to this book on audio cassette years ago from my public library and the narrator simply sat down and told me the story as though she had lived it. You couldn't tell she was reading she simply spoke as from memory. I feel horrible that I cannot remember her name.
Then I acquired the book on cd with a different narrator (Hannah Gordon) and she was very good but I could still hear the echo of the first and best voice that originally told me the story.
Hayley Atwell has a lovely voice but that quality of being comfortable was not there. I found her male voices very off putting. She sounded strained and without much inflection. The difference in expression from the other narrators jarred me and several of the place names were mispronounced which was horribly distracting.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! It's the kind of book you don't want to have end.

Any additional comments?

Please don't let me dissuade you from getting this book. The story is beyond lovely and the narration fine, just not what I am used to. Listen to a sample first and see what you think.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lovely

Rosamunde Pilcher is an author I adore. I was so happy to see unabridged version appear and I was not disappointed. The production values were excellent and I was not disappointed.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful in every way.

I originally read this great story in the late eighties. My Mother read it after hearing me go on about it; and it became her favorite book to read and re-read. Hearing it read so skillfully was a big treat. This re-read, so many years later, was richer in color and detail than I had remembered. It also helped me grieve the loss of my Mom, as it dawned on me, the many reasons why she loved this story and it’s characters, set during and after World War II.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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One of Pilcher's finest works.

I waited over 20 years for this audiobook to be re-released to the U.S. Market. The Shell Seekers is among the top 10 all my all time time favorite stories. The characters of Noel and Nancy are just too self absorbed, selfish, money grubbing and greedy . . . you just love to hate them.
The first time I listened to this in the late 80's/early 90's I believe that it was the Barbara Rosenblat recording, which was both brilliant and vibrant. It seemed far longer and more sweeping than Ms. Atwell's reading. That being said though, Ms. Atwell did a fine job.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone that loves a good read with very realistic characters.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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As good as the first time

This book was just as enjoyable as it was the first time I read it many, many years ago. Plus the narrator is fantastic. A good epic family saga. Well worth a listen.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful