Remarkably Bright Creatures - Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures

By Shelby Van Pelt

  • Release Date: 2022-05-03
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 1,004 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.


  • Amazing!

    By 12345jc123
    Loved this book, could not put it down!
  • Devoured it!

    By gobruins4
    You will love.
  • Absurdly, realistic yet delightful

    By ecoprairiegirl
    Refreshingly different. A great view point of the northwest. I highly recommend it. Without giving away the plot, the characters are fully realized, even the sealift.
  • Marcellus- the little warrior

    By MMW5328
    Marcellus 🐙
  • Oh my god

    By jne212
    I loved this book. And I will never eat octopus again.
  • Read it!!!

    By JTullett
    This is such a beautifully written book. I enjoyed every page.
  • Heartwarming

    By lsmarquez
    I genuinely enjoyed this book. The author did a great job intertwining what seemed to be two completely different storylines and what came together was nothing short of compelling. I enjoyed reading the evolution of each character and never once did I imagine someone could give so much charm to an octopus and yet I was very much enamored by the sweet creature. It’s a great read, especially if you’re looking for something light and sweet.
  • So wonderful

    By frezz
    Quick read with great characters.
  • Excellent

    By FLLtoNYC
    Exceptional writing. A truly great read.
  • You must read this book - it’s amazing!

    By Deepcscoobydiver
    What a wonderful story. This is a definite 5 stars and a must read. As a diver and a lover of all creatures I just adore the point of views in this book. And what a great story! Thank you for writing this!!! It will forever be in my bookshelf!