Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt Book Review

by | Aug 2022

Book Cover for Remarkably Bright Creatures.

A surprising friendship between a widow and an octopus.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt is the beautifully woven story of the unlikely friendship between Tova, a 70-year-old widow, and Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus. We all deserve a friend like Marcellus, who is a balm for Tova’s loneliness and who holds the key to the disappearance of her son many years ago. Tova and Marcellus are each searching for something, and I was cheering them on the whole way.

Delightful and unique, especially the chapters written from the point of view of curmudgeonly Marcellus, I finished this book with a very full heart and a little bit of a lump in my throat. This is Van Pelt’s first novel, and it’s an absolutely lovely surprise.

Rachael Johnson is the assistant manager at Valley Bookseller. Find this novel or more to read in store or online at


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