Remarkably Bright Creatures; Shelby Van Pelt
Ecco Books - 2022
Remarkably Bright Creatures was a mostly feel good story about making connections in unexpected ways and unexpected places.
Tova Sullivan is a 70 year old widow who not only has lost her husband but, she hasn't truly gotten over the loss of her only child, Erik, who died at age 18 some 30 years earlier. To keep busy Tova takes a part time night job as janitor at the Sewell Bay aquarium where she forms a deep connection with a very bright, giant 60 pound octopus named Marcellus who is living out his remaining days there.
Marcellus the octopus likes to wander after hours once he discovers a way to escape his tank. One night Tova finds Marcellus in trouble and unable to get back to his tank after he did a little after hours exploring. She helps him and a connection is formed. He eventually finds a way to pay her back.
Cameron Cassman is new to the Puget Sound area, abandoned by his mother at age nine, Cameron is searching for the father he never knew. He is hired by the Sewell Aquarium on a temporary basis after Tova has a slight accident.
This was a hard story for me to review with giving away too much but, I loved this debut novel which is about the importance of human connection (both human and mammal). Tova was a strong, compelling character determined to make her own decisions. The story is narrated in part by Tova, part by Cameron and part by Marcellus -- my favorite POV. Yes, you have to suspend belief at times but, his intelligence and determination were quite moving. I loved the ending as well. I will definitely be looking for future books by this promising new author.
Rating - 4.5/5 stars
NOTE: Thanks go to Ecco books and Edelweiss for allowing me access to an eGalley download.