aqua butterfly

Some chapters of Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel, Remarkably Bright Creatures, are narrated by Marcellus, a curmudgeonly old giant Pacific octopus living in an aquarium in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. The opening lines of the book reveal that Marcellus longs to live once again at the bottom of the sea, by the “untamed currents of the cold open water,” instead of in captivity. Marcellus is a fascinating narrator. His wit, sarcasm, and keen observation of the humans around him are delightful and sharply accurate.

Remarkably Bright Creatures portrays how rich life can be when we nurture meaningful connections with one another.