Remarkably Bright Creatures - Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures

By Shelby Van Pelt

  • Release Date: 2022-05-03
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 964 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.


  • 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!
  • A truly wonderful read

    By BigAlMagic
    Absolutely outstanding. 🧡
  • Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

    By RebeccaRe3
    Refreshing story about love of all kinds, and journeys through difficult experiences to positive outcomes. The relationships between creatures and humans are the most poignant and appreciated, because they are described here with heart and insight.
  • Brilliant

    By Belliemay
    From stem to stern one of the best books I’ve read in a long while. Just the right amount of pathos with every character, POV from Marcellus. What’s next?