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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Grey

Remarkably Bright Creatures, Shelby Van Pelt



Story Blurb


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.


My Thoughts/Opinion

Had someone told me that one of my favorite reads of the year would include a POV from a giant pacific octopus, I would have probably laughed at them. But Marcellus was amazing, and the story-telling in this book was superb. The depth of each character and the way in which their storylines became interwoven...just wow. Thankful for this recommendation from my local indie bookstore, and now I pass it along to you.


Favorite Quote/Scene: “Tova has always felt more than a bit of empathy for the sharks, with their never-ending laps around the tank. She understands what it means to never be able to stop moving, lest you find yourself unable to breathe.”

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