Remarkably Bright Creatures - Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures

By Shelby Van Pelt

  • Release Date: 2022-05-03
  • Genre: Literary Fiction
Score: 4.5
From 3,039 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.


  • Oh my gawd the octopus!

    By Cccmuffin
    Seriously! Just the octopus. That’s all you need to know! This is so wonderful. And the octopus KNOWS!!!!
  • The octopus is amazing!

    By Ali Chuntz
    It’s a beautiful mystery really of a son who died too early and a lovely widow who has a sweet relationship with a very wise octopus. Fast read. Wish it went on forever!
  • Wonderfully satisfying

    By Lucylww
    This book will creep into your heart but not break it. The characters, including an engaging giant Pacific octopus, kept me reading and hoping good things would happen to them, and I happily shed a tear at the appropriate moments. A very good read.
  • Remarkably Bright Creatures

    By Sassy2241
    Such an excellent book! I loved the characters and of course the wonderful octopus. Well written and a perfect ending!
  • Boring

    By Aerynsun2221
    I really tried to like this book. I heard so many good things about it. But man, reading this is a chore. I’m 50 pages in and still wondering what’s the plot? What’s the main point of this book?
  • Remarkably Bright

    By bookloverjenna
    Loved this book! Takes you through the woes of life and shows you how small the world really is. ♥️ 🌎
  • A MUST read!!

    By Pamela Spesak
    Had me from page one!! I thought it would be one thing but it turned out to be so much more!! I bought it on my iPad, then I went to B&N to buy the hard copy to add it to my library. I will read it again.
  • Just read it

    By MrsLevel
    There is no good description for this book; but I loved every page and cried at the end. A real feel good treasure of a book.
  • Excellent read

    By lthoppy
    I loved this book from the moment I started it. So many life experiences dealt with in a positive way. Being told from the perspective of an octopus was captivating.
  • Great book!

    By VPritchettC
    Thank you for this first novel! It was wonderful!