Saturday, April 6, 2024

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Rating: 5+ of 5 stars 
Pages: 360 pages
Published: May 2022

I read Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt, and now I am in love with an endearing character named Marcellus who happens to be an octopus living out his last days at the Sowell Bay Aquarium. He is a smart sea animal who is very observant of Tova who is the tenured aquarium custodian. Having recently lost her husband and being the mother of a son who went missing more than 30 years ago, Tova's third act is a bit of a lonely, sad one. But when her ankle injury requires her to reduce her workload at the same time that Cameron — with problems of his own — comes to town, Marcellus uses his intelligence to help them both find the closure they need to carry on.  

This book is a debut for Van Pelt, and it is wonderfully done. The writing is so beautiful and evokes a myriad of emotions. The mystery that runs as the book's central theme keeps the reader engaged, and the ending provides a satisfying, although not completely happy, ending. The story was well balanced and executed perfectly. It satisfied all my literary joys. 

I typically like to read stories that I believe could really happen, so having a book with an octopus narrating as one of the main characters seemed to be a stretch for me. But there's something about the magic that Van Pelt created in crafting this story that makes the reader believe the seemingly impossible is possible. 

Recommendation: This book made many book of the year lists in 2022 and deservedly so. I thought about this book long after I finished reading it, and I've also become more intrigued by octopuses. My only regret is I waited two years to procure my own copy. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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