Review: Remarkably Bright Creatures

Hi and welcome to the reading world!

Today’s post is a review for a newly released novel that has been beloved by many, Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt.

Review: Remarkably Bright CreaturesRemarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on July 23, 2022
Pages: 368


A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

"Remarkably Bright Creatures is a beautiful examination of how loneliness can be transformed, cracked open, with the slightest touch from another living thing." -- Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here

For fans of A Man Called Ove, a charming, witty and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus

After Tova Sullivan's husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she's been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.

Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors--until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.

Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova's son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it's too late.

Shelby Van Pelt's debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.

This story is narrated by several individuals including a Great Pacific Octopus named Marcellus (and his chapters are definitely my favorite!) and a lady named Tova. The way the characters’ stories intersect allows for moments of joy, grief, humor, and growth. This is definitely a novel that is character driven but has a plot that slowly comes together to make a truly memorable story.

The main story centers around Tova and Marcellus, but narration from other characters adds more threads and depth to the ultimate story in a way that I found especially well done. I personally would have loved even more chapters from Marcellus’s perspective!

If you’re a fan of novels like A Man Called Ove and Less, I think you would really enjoy this one. It involves understanding yourself, coming to terms with the past, and new beginnings and endings. This is a great one to read especially in the summertime, as the aquarium setting and ocean creatures made me think of visits to the beach.

Overall, I highly recommend this one. It’s a new favorite of mine, and one I think many readers would enjoy picking up!

Have you read any novels with animal protagonists and narrators? Feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!


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