Remarkably Bright Creatures

“Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt was published in May 2022 and has been checked out dozens of times by patrons at our library. I was slow to read this novel, because I thought ‘talking to an octopus’ sounded rather silly, and I really regret that judgment! This novel was SO enjoyable and uplifting – a terrific story about relationships and assumptions and so much more . . .

Tova Sullivan is a 70 year old, recent widow, living on Puget Sound in Washington state. She works the night shift, cleaning at the local aquarium and loves her job. Marcellus is a giant Pacific octopus who lives in a tank at the aquarium. He is extremely intelligent and has developed a bond with Tova. Cameron Cassmore was abandoned by his mother at age 9, and was raised by an aunt in California. He comes to the area in search of his father and hoping to turn his life around. These three characters slowly get to know each other and their lives become less lonely as their relationships grow.

I thought “Remarkably Bright Creatures” was a beautiful read and loved the chapters that were told from Marcellus, the octopus’s point of view. There was humor, sadness, friendship and love in this wonderful story. I am so glad that I read it! (Now I’ve been told to watch the documentary, “My Octopus Teacher,” on Netflix. After becoming acquainted with Marcellus in this novel, I can’t wait!)

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