BookBrowse Reviews Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

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Remarkably Bright Creatures

A Novel

by Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt X
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
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    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2022, 368 pages

    Paperback:
    May 9, 2023, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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A warmhearted look at grief and aging set in the Pacific Northwest.

Winner: 2022 Best Debut Award.
Shelby Van Pelt's debut novel, Remarkably Bright Creatures, is set in the fictional town of Sowell Bay in upper Washington State, one of those coastal villages where the best restaurant in town is a deli attached to the area's only grocery store and everyone is "up in everyone else's business," as one character puts it. It is, however, large enough to support a small aquarium that houses, among other animals, a giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus — a "remarkably bright creature" according to the plaque near his tank. He is, indeed, so intelligent that he can understand human speech and escape at will to snack on the sea cucumbers one tank over.

Septuagenarian Tova Sullivan has lived in Sowell Bay since childhood, in the home her father built by hand after immigrating from Sweden. She began cleaning the aquarium at night following her husband's ...

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