Let me just start this post by saying this is not the sort of novel I usually read. It is a feel good novel and some might say perhaps a little too tied together.  However, there is something special about this story and its characters and I am glad I read it.  You should read it too!  Ok, now on to the book!

“Remarkably Bright Creatures” is a novel about hope from the perspective of a Giant Pacific  Octopus named Marcellus.  And yes, also from the perspective of some people.  Marcellus is living in an aquarium in the fictional town of Sowell Bay in the Pacific Northwest.  The novel begins with Marcellus’s thoughts on “Day 1,299 of My Captivity.”  “Each evening, I await the click of the overhead lights, leaving only the glow from the main tank.  Not perfect, but close enough.  Almost-darkness, like the middle bottom of the sea.  I lived there before I was captured and imprisoned.”  Marcellus believes he is a prisoner and because his life span is only 4 years (at most only 160 days remain), he is trying to make a difference.

Tova Sullivan, a 70 year old recent widow, is the evening cleaning person at the aquarium.  One evening she discovers that Marcellus has escaped from his tank and she saves him.  They develop a unique relationship. 

Tova is grieving the loss of her husband Will.  In addition, Tova’s son, Erik, disappeared before his 18th birthday, almost 31 years earlier, and Tova is still grieving. Is it possible that Marcellus knows something about Erik’s disappearance?

Tova has a group of friends that call themselves the Knit-Wits.  The group had started with seven friends but is slowly decreasing due to the vagaries of old age.  The Knit Wits annoy Tova and yet she is begrudgingly dependent on them.  She begins to consider whether she should move into a senior community.

In the meantime, meet Cameron Cassmore.  Cameron is a ne’er-do-well thirty something who cannot hold a job or maintain a relationship.  His mother abandoned him with his Aunt Jeanne when he was nine years old and he has never known his father.  He is obsessed with finding both.  After he loses yet another job his girlfriend throws him out and he finds himself basically homeless.  He stays with friends (very good friends) while deciding what to do.  In a box of mementos that his aunt has provided, he finds a picture of his mother with Simon Brinks, a wealthy real estate mogul in the Pacific Northwest. He also finds a class ring from Sowell Bay.  He reaches the obvious conclusion that Simon Brinks is his father and he decides to go to Sowell Bay to find him.

Cameron ends up working at the aquarium and meeting Tova.  Things develop from there.

The novel is filled with family intrigue, romantic relationships, grief, confusion and ultimately love, friendship and satisfaction.  Marcellus is the vehicle through which everything moves forward.  The book has a happy ending and is as much about hope and the inherent goodness of all creatures as much as anything else.  In these difficult times, believing in that  inherent goodness can only help get us through.  You can reserve this novel at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking on https://discover.cuyahogalibrary.org/Record/183105