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  • Writer's pictureNeighborhood Reads

Laurie's Pick: "Remarkably Bright Creatures" by Shelby Van Pelt


Seventy-year-old Tova Sullivan works the night shift at Sowell Bay Aquarium. Tova is a widow who lives alone after a tragic accident claimed the life of her son. At the aquarium, Tova meets Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus who likes to escape his habitat at night and roam about the aquarium. On one of his adventures, Tova ends up saving him from harm, and they form a special bond. We also meet Cameron Cassmore, who travels to Sowell Bay in search of information about lost family connections. Cameron, Tova, and Marcellus connect when he starts working at the aquarium. What follows is a deeply moving story of friendship, community, family, grief, and moving on.


This book has quickly become one of my favorites this year. I loved each and every character’s personality, including the incredibly bright octopus. The author took time to describe the history of each character in a way that explained their actions. I realized that sometimes we may misjudge people until we know their complete story. The ending which describes the last thing that Tova and Marcellus did for each other was very sweet and touching. This is a must-read summer book!


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