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Remarkably Bright Creatures


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A gripping family mystery meets a story of second chances in this warm, feel-good debut

About the Author

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Shelby Van Pelt lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her family. This is her first novel.


A unique and luminous book * Booklist *
A beautiful examination of how loneliness can be transformed, cracked open, with the slightest touch from another living thing. Shelby Van Pelt makes good on this wild conceit, somehow making me love a misanthropic octopus, but her writing is so finely tuned that it's a natural element of a larger story about family, about loss and the electricity of something found -- Kevin Wilson, author of NOTHING TO SEE HERE
Remarkably Bright Creatures is the rarest of feats: a book that manages to be wry and wise, charming and surprising, and features one of the most intriguing and satisfying characters I've encountered in fiction in a very long time - Marcellus the Octopus. I don't know how Shelby Van Pelt managed to make this uncommon tale sing so beautifully, but sing it does, and I defy you to put it down once you've started -- Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, author of THE NEST
Truly original and touching, Remarkably Bright Creatures is a story of family, community, and optimism in spite of darkness. Prepare to fall in love -- Helen Hoang, author of THE KISS QUOTIENT
Shelby's characters are unique and yet completely relatable ... It is a fresh and fascinating story full of heart and humour and I loved it. -- Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things
A winningly totally original feel-good mystery packed with memorable characters that, once started, demands to be finished * Irish Independent *
An ultimately feel-good but deceptively sensitive debut about what it feels like to have love taken from you, only to find it again in the most unexpected places ... Memorable and tender. * Washington Post *
A warm and satisfying book. It wrapped itself around me, luring me into the many mysteries hidden just beneath the surface. -- Polly Crosby, author of The Illustrated Child
Remarkable characters, who will stay with you for a long time. -- Anstey Harris, author of The Trials and Triumphs of Grace Atherton
You'll bask in this book's warmth and wit * Spectrum *
The best books about grief find a way to illuminate the darkness of loss, and Remarkably Bright Creatures offers a masterclass * Marie Claire *
Infused with heartfelt humor, Van Pelt's elegant portrait of a widowed woman who finds understanding and connection with a clever octopus is refreshingly, if surprisingly, relatable. Despite the unorthodox relationship at its core, the debut novel offers a wholly original meditation on grief and the bonds that keep us afloat * Elle *

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