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Remarkably Bright Creatures

Remarkable (adj.): worthy of attention; striking.


Indeed, the title of this gem provides a moment of welcome serendipity. Like the eight arms of an octopus, this story is composed of muscle, skin, and nerves. On the surface, this is the story of a sea creature who longs for freedom, but it is so much more than that. Plunging into the space between each word, we find complex elements of the human condition that extract deep feelings of understanding, compassion, and love.


The voice of each character presented by Ms. Van Pelt is not only unique but relatable. Tova, Cameron, Ethan, and of course, Marcellus, all touched an emotional chord that melded together into something chaotically beautiful and complete. There were so many times throughout the course of this novel that I stopped and found myself smiling after my heart skipped a beat. Sometimes it was because of something romantic, but there were an equal number of times that my reaction was a result of simple and complete identification with someone else’s emotional immersion in the moment.


The story itself was magnificent, but even better is the manner in which it is shared with the reader. The language used, the eloquent tangle of characters and subplots, the hidden messages that continue to reveal themselves long after reluctantly closing the back cover. It’s truly a remarkable journey to embark upon.


This book reminds me in a sobering yet hopeful way that life is short. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of daily life, and sometimes maybe we need to, but still, there’s a great big sea of opportunity waiting for us out there, if only we’re willing to plunge into the depths and explore without judgment, one imperfect mistake and one joyous moment of hope at a time.

Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️


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