303L: By the Sea, By the Sea (Solved)

I am looking for a novel which I read in the early 1960s, a gently humorous story of the eccentric inhabitants of a seaside town located along the Atlantic Ocean. The name of the town was “Plankton”. Three of the inhabitants were retired school teachers who shared a house, one of whom spent her days entering and winning contests. There were other residents, but since I was in either the 7th or 8th grade at the time, it was the school teachers who made the biggest impression on me.

A young single woman and a young man who loved insects and the study of bugs came into Plankton, eventually falling in love.

The young man was recruited to appear on a game show on television, where he dazzled the audience with his knowledge of bugs.

Of course, he won large sums of money.

The three school teachers took these two lonely people under their collective wing. Living in Plankton seemed to restore their confidence and their purpose in life.

When the two young people do fall in love and marry, they decide to live in Plankton. Their house was outfitted by the household items won by the content-winning school teachers.

I thought the title of the book was “By the Sea, By the Sea”, and the author’s name was Barkley or Berkely.

I remember that I had a paperback edition; the book may have been published in the mid to late 1950s. While I was a young teenager when I read this book, it was definitely a grown-up’s book.

I hope one of the book researchers will be able to find this charming, memorable book for me.

2 thoughts on “303L: By the Sea, By the Sea (Solved)

  1. Alec, this is amazing ! Your answer arrived mere minutes after I received notification that my request had been received and posted. Thank you very much for your creative Googling and successful sleuthing.

    The Kirkus Review focused on aspects of the story that I have long forgotten and possibly did not fully understand when I read “By the Sea, By the Sea”. As I wrote, I was a young teenager at the time.

    I am delighted that you might read this treasure. I’ll noodle around for a copy and re-read it, myself.

    Thank you, once again.

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