Remarkably Bright Creatures Review

Review by Matthew

The debut novel by Shelby Van Pelt, Remarkably Bright Creatures, is a riveting story about the relationship between a woman and … an octopus?

You read that right. Tova Sullivan, an aging widow who loves to clean, works nights mopping her local aquarium in Washington State, where she befriends Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus nearing the end of his life. Marcellus sneaks out of his tank and roams the halls of the aquarium at night, finding treasures, hiding them, and searching for more information about the friendly woman who cleans the fingerprint smudges off his tank every evening.

When a young man named Cameron comes to town looking for the father he never met, Tova’s life – and Marcellus’s – are indelibly changed, and Cameron finds even more than he was searching for.

Several chapters in the book are told from the octopus’s point of view, but it’s not gimmicky – these chapters are heartfelt, fascinating, and surprisingly realistic.

Find Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt at one of our branches or on Hoopla.