The Shell Keeper by Robin P. Nolet is one of those books that warms your heart and leaves you feeling as though you just made some new best friends. I laughed, I got weepy eyed; but mostly I just enjoyed this delightful novel. Sometimes I get nervous when I accept books for review from authors who are trying hard to get their book out there but even from the description I felt this would be a book for me. I was right! Nothing makes me feel better than when I can gush over a book and help out an author at the same time – one who is very polite and nice to work with as well. The Shell Keeper is about three women – three very different women – who fate brings together but friendship holds them there.
Gwen owns her own bakery in Blue River and loves it but it isn’t always easy to make ends meet. To top it off her husband’s job isn’t all that stable right now with a strike looming. Claire, a real estate agent, has her own set of problems. She’s tough as nails to the outside world but inside is a woman who only wants the best for those most important to her. She and Gwen start talking in the bakery one day when one of Claire’s most difficult clients stomps out and leaves Claire raging. While they’re talking back and forth, they hear this big crash which just happens to be Del and she has managed to hit one of the big flowerpots lining the road. Gwen rushes to call 911 and Claire goes out to see if she can help. Now Del is just starting to go through a divorce from a cheating creep and she’s just frazzled which clearly shows when she comes into the shop and sits down. When they part these women still don’t know that they will become friends but the seeds are planted; these ladies already care what happens to each other.
As the women begin to spend more time together they realize they are becoming friends and really all of them are a little scared. They are all reserved and protective of their feelings for their own reasons. Yet as time passes the walls start to come down between these women and they start to share their hopes and fears with each other. Gwen ends up facing a tough decision that will affect her and Andy’s life as well as the friendship she’s built with Claire and Del. Claire is faced with a problem too – he comes in the shape of a man whose name is Bob. Claire doesn’t need any complications in her life and Bob is most definitely a complication and yet she finds herself more and more attracted to him. Del is busy juggling taking care of her two kids and working at her new job, not to mention that new man who has just happened to sweep into her life and make her feel worthy of love again. Together these ladies will navigate life and friendship together and it’s a wonderful journey.
Often I find that I will only be drawn to one of the women in a novel such as this but I liked all of these ladies. They were all very real people that I could see myself knowing and liking. I really liked Gwen though, maybe because she just kind of seemed the mother hen of everyone. For the most part she was always calm and cool – well except for that one incident in the bakery with that snobby lady – but we won’t hold that against her. She is just one of those people who likes to take care of everyone. Claire I liked because of her tough attitude, as for the most part it came through as really amusing to me. And Del, she was the softie of the group. Scared and alone, trying to get used to being divorced, she begins to find life again. Del is another one who continually looked out for the feelings of her friends. All in all, I could see myself being friends with them and when I turned the last page of the book I knew without a doubt I was going to miss them and I do.
The Shell Keeper is a beautiful novel of friendship. Friendship enriches our lives and means even when the world feels as though it’s falling apart, we know those people are there for us. The Shell Keeper is well worth the read for those of you who love stories about the friendships of women or love a story that will warm your heart and leave you wanting more. I really, really enjoyed it! Oh, and as a note the title of the book fits the story perfectly but I don’t want to give that away. You’ll just have to read it for yourself to find that out!
Please be sure to visit Robin’s blog and you can find her on Twitter as well. The Shell Keeper can be purchased here in the US and here in Canada. The Shell Keeper is also priced great at 99 cents for both the Kindle and the Nook. Be sure to stop by tomorrow as Robin joins us with a guest post and a giveaway of The Shell Keeper!
Source: Review copy received from the author. No compensation was received in exchange for this review.
This does sound like a terrific story; great review Dar.
Thanks Diane, it really is a great story.
Wonderful review, Dar. I just bought the book!
Mary, I hope you like it as much as I did!
Your glowing review has me itching to read this one. Another good novel about friendship sounds like a hit.
Harvee, I love books about friendship. Of course a lot of us do. This one will be a favorite for me.
I like the sound of this, friendship is truly important 🙂
Linda, yes friendship is important and too often taken for granted. These kinds of books are such an attraction for me.
I love books that feature strong and positive friendships between women, so this one sounds of interest to me. I can’t say that I have read a lot of books like this in the past few months, so I think it would be refreshing to read this one. Great review, Dar! I am glad that you had such an awesome time with it!
Heather, you and are the same in that we like books that feature friendships between women. I love it too when women meet late in life like these did. You don’t just have to meet your best friends when you’re young.
I like books about friendship. This one sounds like a good one and the blue of that cover is just captivating.
Serena, I really like the cover of this one too. It’s very simple, yet beautiful.
Novels about friendship rank right up there as the tops for me too. this one sounds great and I’m glad that you loved it!!
Staci, yes you’re another one I share my love of books like this with. It was really good. I wish I was still reading it.
There have been so many books done along these lines, that I can’t help but take notice when I see a review like yours, that indicates that the book would stand head and shoulders above the rest. I love the way you describe these women, and you’ve made me want to add this one to my list. Wonderful review on this one 🙂
BookGirl, I could read books like this all the time. Any time a book features friendships between women I usually want to read it.
I enjoy good books about women’s friendships and strong females and this sounds like a great one. I like that the women’s lives sound current and relatable, such as Gwen struggling to make ends meet while dealing with her husband’s unstable job – so many of us can relate, these days, to what Gwen has to cope with. The other aspect of this book that sounds realistic to me is these women don’t just jump into friendship with eachother, they’re cautious about it. It’s a little more difficult to become friends when your older than it is in college or at your first job or when you’re a new mom. When you have families and reponsiblities, many women approach getting to know a new friend slowly, not to mention free time is a valuable commodity in scarce supply. It sounds to me like Robin Nolet took all of this into account when creating her characters and writing this story.
I’m glad you enjoyed it so much and wrote this wonderful review to share The Shell Keeper with us!
Thank you, Dar!
Amy, that was one thing I really loved about this book – how real it seemed. You’re right, usually people are cautious about jumping into friendship because you don’t want to be hurt. These women were all careful with what they shared at first and with their trust.
I love a good book with friendship as the focus. This is one that I will definitely have to try and read in 2012. Thanks for the great review as always Dar!!
Samantha, it seems most women love to read about friendship. I wonder if it’s because we crave those close friendships so much in our own lives.
This sounds wonderful Dar! I love books about friendship and this sounds like a winner. I’m going to buy a copy for my kindle!!