The Shell Seekers is a 1987 novel by Rosamunde Pilcher. It became one of her most famous best-sellers. It was nominated by the British public in 2003 as one of the top 100 novels in the BBC's Big Read. In Germany the novel is called 'Die Muschelsucher', and was also in the top 100 novels
Shifting in time, the novel tells the story of Penelope Keeling, the daughter of unconventional parents (an artist father and his much-younger French wife), examining her past and her relationships with her adult children. When the novel opens, Penelope is in her 60s and has just been discharged from the hospital after what was seemingly a heart attack. Penelope's life from young womanhood to the present is revealed in pieces, from her own point-of-view and those of her children. Much of the forward impetus of the novel involves the work of her father, including a painting called "The Shell Seekers," given to Penelope as a wedding present.
Pilcher also wrote a spin off novel to The Shell Seekers called September which was published in 1990.