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Remarkably Bright Creatures: A Novel Kindle Edition
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.
About the Author
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Shelby Van Pelt lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her family. Remarkably Bright Creatures is her first novel.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B09BNH4TLW
- Publisher : Ecco (May 3, 2022)
- Publication date : May 3, 2022
- Language : English
- File size : 4994 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 362 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #179 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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In addition to a great story, the book is beautifully laid out. The chapters where the octopus is narrating (trust me, they're great), have gorgeous design elements.
On the surface, this is a story of three people and one octopus making their way through grief and challenge and fear to find their path. We have Tova, who's had more grief than any one person should endure. Cameron, abandoned by his mother and never living up to anyone's expectations (not even his own). Ethan, attracted to Tova, but too hesitant to make a move. Marcellus, the octopus, determined to make the most of the little time he has left.
The story is set on the coast of Washington, north of Seattle. I appreciated the setting's treatment in the story because it was clear and important, but the author didn't hit you over the head with it. There was no showing off ("Look how much research I did about this place!"). That can be so annoying.
What I loved:
- The characters are developed. Ethan needed more backstory, but other than that the character development was terrific.
- The premise is unusual, but it works.
- The narrative shifts are easy to follow.
- The layout is lovely. I love a well-made book.
- The author resists easy solutions, and she leaves one story not completely resolved. This can be dangerous, but here it fits completely.
- There are strong life lessons and takeaways, but the author doesn't beat you over the head with them.
- The story moves apace. There's no lagging. There's also no rushing. It's well-paced.
- The solutions aren't easy and pat. There is a definite deux ex machina feel in a few of the story points, but I think that's to expected when there's an octopus afoot.
What I didn't love:
- Nothing worth mentioning. Well-crafted, well-designed, and well-executed, this book is a winner.
Overall, this is a great person read, and a great book club read.
Meanwhile, Cameron is a thirty-year-old failure-to-launch character. Abandoned in childhood by a mysterious father and drug addict mother, Cameron is down to his last four dollars when he gets a job filling in at the Sowell aquarium. An unlikely friendship is born, one that'll be wrenched apart when Tova sells her house and moves north to assisted living. The clock is ticking. Will Marcellus be able to convey his news before it's too late?
This is a compelling, smart, funny tale of lonely humans coming together. Put me in mind of the writing of Fredrik Backman ("A Man Called Ove" and "Britt-Marie Was Here"). Highly recommended.
The only thing I can say is that I did not like Cameron for a very long time. But to the author’s credit, she recognizes that he has a lot of growing he needs to do. His self-pity and immaturity are commented on and he is given realistic opportunities for growth. I don’t mind when a character behaves in ways I don’t like as long as no one thinks those ways are reasonable.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes sweet and unusual stories.
This is a story of love, both lost and found, and the deep-seated need we all have to make that connection. Tove, a woman mourning the recent loss of her husband and the never forgotten disappearance of her son 30 years ago, has come to a crossroads in her life. Should she sell the home built by her father and move into a retirement community? Cameron, a young man who has screwed up his life at every turn is also ready to make an important decision for his future. The aquarium in the small town of Sowell Bay, Oregon and resident Marcellus play a significant part in the story of both these lost individuals. It is a wonderfully constructed story as the readers enjoy watching the strands of the story come together.
I eagerly await the next effort by Shelby Van Pelt.
Top reviews from other countries
It’s like those books with a dog character - at some point you realise it’s not immortal and you will have to say goodbye.
This had a lovely goodbye different from what I expected. I will have a book hangover for some time as going to miss the wonderful characters who all felt like friends in this book.
I don’t want to give away any of the plot lines, suffice to say nothing was done in my house until I came to the end!! Happy reading.
The characters are fantastic & you are totally rooting for them especially Marcellus in particular. I loved every page of this book. Totally worth the buy!