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.
Synopsis source: Goodreads
What pattern is that?
Pictured with the book in this post is a WIP shot of the Isla Tank Top pattern, a free version of which is available here on my blog!
What a beautiful story! I have to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect about a story where one of the main characters is an octopus, but I went with the buzz saying that this was worth it and gave it a chance. I’m so glad I did!
Heartfelt and heart-wrenching, this is a story about the family we are born to and the family we make, about kindness, compassion and overcoming loneliness and grief by connecting with others, and ultimately about friendship and hope. This book was one of those instances where I decided to read the book on its reputation alone, not really knowing what it was about and not even reading the synopsis before starting it. But I can say that this one lives up to the hype. I totally got A Man Called Ove vibes from this one, not because of plot similarities but because of the way it made me feel.
The characters were all so nuanced and real. Their troubles, fears, and concerns were entirely believable and I empathized with them all so much, my heart breaking for them. This story has a happy ending, if a little bittersweet.
The audio narration was phenomenal! From Michael Urie’s voice portrayal of Marcellus to Marin Ireland’s performance of Tova and not to mention the Scottish brogue she affected for Ethan, these actors really helped bring this story to life for me.
If you haven’t read or listened to this one yet, don’t wait any longer!
Until next time,
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