Creatures: Book summary and reviews of Creatures by Crissy Van Meter

Creatures

A Novel

by Crissy Van Meter

Creatures by Crissy Van Meter X
Creatures by Crissy Van Meter
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Jan 7, 2020
    256 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

On the eve of Evangeline's wedding, a dead whale is trapped in the harbor, the groom might be lost at sea, and her mother has shown up out of the blue. Now, in Crissy Van Meter's lyrical and darkly funny debut novel, Evie must reckon with her complicated upbringing on a lush, wild island off California.

Evie grew up with her well-meaning but negligent father, surviving on the money he made dealing the island's world-famous strain of marijuana, Winter Wonderland. Although he raised her with a deep respect for the elements, the sea, and the creatures living within it, he also left her to parent herself. With wit, love, and bracing ashes of anger, Creatures probes the complexities of love and abandonment, guilt and forgiveness, betrayal and grief—and the ways in which our ability to love can be threatened if we are not brave enough to conquer the past. 

Lyrical, darkly funny, and ultimately cathartic, Creatures exerts a pull as strong as the tides.


About the Author
Crissy Van Meter grew up in Southern California. Her writing has appeared in Vice, Bustle, Guernica, and Catapult. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Wiry, rhythmic, and wrenchingly beautiful, Creatures plumbs the sea-struck heart of a family fractured by longing and grief." - Leni Zumas, bestselling author of Red Clocks

"Creatures is the kind of beautiful book that makes you want to lick the salt from its pages. It's so physically present you can feel the waves hit your body, smell the sea life, hear the roar of the ocean as your hair whips around your face in the breeze. Crissy Van Meter has written a book about the complexities of love and families, yes, but it's also a careful look at intimacy through the lens of a person learning and relearning how to love the people who continually let us down. It's inventive and surprising. The text is tactile; a punch to the heart. It's one of the best novels I've read this year." - Kristin Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things
 
"Crissy Van Meter pulls us into depths of loneliness, sweetness, pain, history, and pulsing vulnerability in prose swift and clear as an ocean current, in Creatures. On Winter Island, time and landscape ache with memory; need spills over in subtle moments of intense connection, fracture, deprivation, and wound; unconditional love may be a concept as unreachable as the mainland, and as isolating. Like water, loss and longing fill the space between each prism of a word in this gorgeous, jewel-tone debut." - Sarah Gerard, author of Sunshine State

"At the intersection of the natural world and the human heart, Van Meter explores alcoholism, absence, daughterly loyalties and longing in this slim and beautiful tale that contains a whole aqueous universe in its depths." - Melissa Broder, author of The Pisces
 
"Wiry, rhythmic, and wrenchingly beautiful, Creatures plumbs the sea-struck heart of a family fractured by longing and grief." - Leni Zumas, bestselling author of Red Clocks 

"Creatures is a love story like none other—a synesthetic whale song that submerges you deep inside the exhilaration and exhaustion of love. Father love. Mother love. And most of all, the love of place." - Mesha Maren, author of Sugar Run

"Crissy Van Meter has written a tale of hard-won family forgiveness that doubles, somehow, as a sly parable about climate change, about the eggshell fragility of the island-home we take for granted. Brava." - Jonathan Dee, author of The Locals

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More Information

On the eve of Evangeline's wedding, a dead whale is trapped in the harbor, the groom might be lost at sea, and her mother has shown up out of the blue. Now, in Crissy Van Meter's lyrical and darkly funny debut novel, Evie must reckon with her complicated upbringing on a lush, wild island off California.

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