Saturday, September 25, 2021

Three Books by Rosamunde Pilcher - Part 1


Rosamunde Pilcher is probably best know for her enormous family sagas like The Shell Seekers or Winter Solstice.  But before Penelope Keeling and Lawrence Stern walked the streets of Cornwall she published a number of shorter fiction books and I wanted to try and read as many of those as I can this year.

Sleeping Tiger (1967)
- Selina Bruce spent her whole life with a father who was a mystery.  She was told he was dead but didn't even know his name.  When she sees an author's picture who strongly resembles the single picture she had found of her unknown father she leaves her fiancé and hops on a plane to a tiny island off the Spanish coast. Pilcher's early books have some serious father issues with main characters who are incredibly young and inexperienced.   I like Selina.  She's spent her whole life surrounded by very strong personalities who are constantly telling her what to do and not being a confrontational person she tended to do what she was told but she's got a bit of a spine and it was fun seeing her stand up for herself a little.  Pilcher writes incredibly readable books and this was no different.  I was pulled in from the very beginning and probably could have read it in one sitting.  That said there are some serious dated-ness issues with this one.  There's a serious age difference but more importantly (for me, anyway) there is a serious experience difference.  I did enjoy this one but I'm not sure I'd recommend it - especially not for new Pilcher readers.  

Another View (1968)
- Emma Litton has spent most of her life in boarding school or working in Paris while her father, artist Ben Litton travels the world at a whim.  With Ben back in their cottage in Porthkerris Emma decides it's time to be part of her father's life and leaves Paris to come home for once and for all.  Like many of Pilcher's heroine's Emma has some serious daddy issues and for good reason.  While charming and brilliant Ben's ability to be a consistent paternal figure is less then nil.  This is a sweet, uplifting story and while not a 5 star read it does showcase Pilcher's ability to make the worlds she creates leap off the page.  I liked all the characters even when I wanted to shake them and thoroughly enjoyed reading the story even with its predictability.  

The End of Summer (1971) - This is quite the story!  Jane has been away from her family home, Elvie, in Scotland and living with her father in the US.  She yearns to go back to Elvie and to see her cousin Sinclair who she had the world's biggest crush on since childhood.  Jane is the typical Pilcher heroine.  She tends to flush, can't be bothered with fashion and isn't particularly ambitious.  The main difference though is that Jane does stand up for herself when she really needs to (she doesn't want to but she does which is a solid accomplishment).  As well,  she doesn't ignore signs that might shatter her illusions and as time goes on she is able to see people for who they really are no matter how much insincere charm they pump her way.  And like in most Pilcher books there's a pretty solid insta-love situation and things like a pretty solid age difference don't seem to be an issue.  I read this book in a day and while it isn't flawless I love Pilcher's writing style and really feel like this is her best one yet.  


  1. I am such a fan of Rosamunde and I have not read Another View. I need to correct that! Shell Seekers is a favorite but my other big fat book of hers I love is Coming Home. It's wonderful. Have you read September? That's a followup on Shell Seekers long after Penelope.

  2. I'm one who has never read anything by this author but, I always wanted to. I hope to remedy that soon.

  3. I do love Pilcher's books! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I believe I've read the first two years ago but not the third. One I'd like to read.

  5. I haven't read anything by this author. I'll have to see if my library has any books by her.

  6. I have heard of The Shell Seekers. A friend of mine who considers herself a "big reader" with 8-12 books a year, ha ha, has been trying to get me to read it for quite a while. Maybe I should put it on my TBR for 2023. After my theme of all BIPOC authors in 2022, I will done with specific annual reading. 📚