Remarkably Bright Creatures - Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures

By Shelby Van Pelt

  • Release Date: 2022-05-03
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 661 Ratings


A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

“Remarkably Bright Creatures is a beautiful examination of how loneliness can be transformed, cracked open, with the slightest touch from another living thing.” -- Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here

For fans of A Man Called Ove, a charming, witty and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus

After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.

Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors—until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.

Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late. 

Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.


  • Lovely

    By Isittoolatenowtosaysorry
    Heartwarming and beautifully written
  • Delightful

    By heathervmc
    I read this book in two days. It’s charming and the perspective of the Octopus is welcome and well executed in the context of the story. The story has clever quirks as it unfolds and just enough unknowns to compel the reader to forge ahead. The characters a vividly explained and oh so likable. I am excited to read future books by this author!
  • Just read it. I can’t think of a way this story would not bring pleasure.

    By southwindshm
    My wife recommended that I read this book. I started 2 times before it grabbed me. I did not think I could read a book with an Octopus as a character. Once I chilled out and let the writing take me, I was amidst a great story with wonderful characters, living near the sea. I loved it all and did not want it to end. Cheers to wonderful writing and the ride it can offer.
  • A Must Read

    By Jujupuppies
    What a wonderful and yet emotional book about looking for someone and that something in their life. Marcellus, the octopus gives a great narrative that is witty and insightful. A great read!
  • Loved this book!

    By Kerryr3
    Highly recommend
  • Beautiful I’m every way

    By korty-korto
    A brilliant story written with excellence and charm. Loved it. Definitely a remarkably bright author.
  • Best read of the year

    By dds-77546
    Very well written
  • A Must Read!

    By MerciLight
    Totally engaging and thought provoking from the first page. This book has touched my heart in beautiful ways. I highly recommend it!
  • Great book

    By O720
    I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Love, love, love

    By proofergirl
    From the opening words, I knew this would end up capturing me. I was enchanted by Marcellus’ narration and loved how the author weaved his story with Tova’s. Honestly, it is now one of favorites that I will come back to and read again. I love seeing people in different ages and stages of their life connect to tell such a lovely story.