There are books that go down like cough syrup. I gulp the words down knowing that I will emerge from the experience better. The characters and the words will develop and leave me a better person in indescribable ways. The books that I’ve read recently have been of this nature. I can’t say that the books are bad, nor can I say that I enjoyed reading them.
The Shell Seekers was a beautiful escape; I couldn’t find enough hours in the day to lose myself in its pages. The book is about generational differences and family relationships. The time stretches from early 1900’s until 1980’s in various locations, but primarily England.
As usual, I am going to hold off on discussing major plot points to avoid spoiling it for any other readers. However, one of the ideas conveyed in the book spurred further thought. There’s a tension between loving someone as they are, and maintaining healthy boundaries in relationships. And this tension exists between family, friends, and spouses especially so. What’s the difference between giving out of obligation and giving out of impulse? When is it appropriate to hold some truth back?
Truth-telling has it’s pitfalls. Yes, that dress makes your butt look big. Actually, with those rings under your eyes, you look terrible. Yeah, you totally botched that meeting. There are times were the unvarnished truth just isn’t kind. And in family relationships, the truth without considering the conclusion can be cruel. I’m not advocating for wholesale lying. If you are an adult human and have successful relationships, you occasionally lie, or omit the truth.
This book navigates these topics. It’s sensitive and beautiful. I highly suggest it.