Rediscover: The Shell Seekers
British novelist Rosamunde Pilcher, author of the family saga The Shell Seekers, died last week at age 94. Her novels, primarily romance and women's fiction, have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. Pilcher started writing at age seven, sold her first short story at 15 and served in the Women's Royal Naval Service during World War II. She published 10 romance novels under the name Jane Fraser before dropping the pseudonym in 1965. The Shell Seekers (1987) was her 14th and most popular novel. Other major works include September (1990), Coming Home (1995) and Winter Solstice (2000). She retired in 2000. Robin Pilcher, her son, is also a novelist.
The Shell Seekers follows Penelope Keeling, an elderly British woman who relives her life in flashbacks. It explores Keeling's relationships with her adult children and artist father, who gifted her a painting called The Shell Seekers. Pilcher's book spent 49 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists and sold more than 10 million copies. It has twice been adapted for television. Pilcher's collective works continue to drive tourism to Cornwall, especially from Germany, where the TV station ZDF has adapted more than 100 of her stories. The Shell Seekers was last published in 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin ($18.99, 9781250063786). --Tobias Mutter