Why did I choose to read this book?
I love books about women, especially older women, who find their way after either tragedy or their husband dies. It’s always a story that shows how to deal with real grief while simultaneously rediscovering yourself as a single person. It’s fantastic. Very empowering. You lost but if you get back up you win.
What is this book about?
Tova Sullivan lost her only child to a boating accident when he was 18, and then loses her husband, so in her 70s (I think, I had to return the book to the library so I don’t have it to reference back to) she’s getting by on retirement, social security, and working the night shift at the local aquarium. There is an octopus there that is as smart as you would expect an octopus to be, and he has a habit of escaping from his tank to eat different foods left around or steal sea cucumbers to eat out of other tanks. I loved him immediately.
Tova’s estranged brother dies and when she goes to settle his account at the retirement community he was in, she picks up an application to fill out because unlike her friends, she has no one left to be with or take care of her as she ages, so she thinks this will be her only option.
The story follows Tova, Marcellus the octopus, and a mystery that demands to be solved that will bring peace to everyone involved.
What is notable about the story?
This is the most adorable, frustrating, beautiful, forgiving, understanding book I have read in a very long time. I loved everyone. Every character deserves a hug, even the octopus. This book wraps you up in a big warm hug that stresses you out a little bit but then eventually relaxes you. Everything, even the conflicts between characters, is satisfying. The ending was superb. The reveal, magical. The story was as bright and full of life as its cover. I loved every single fucking thing about this book and I didn’t want to give it back to the library, I wanted to keep it.
Was anything not so great?
Pessimists such as myself might find a bone to pick with Marcellus’ intelligence and try to “Well actually…” their way into a criticism here but even pessimists have to believe in something sometime and I say that Marcellus is perfect. Don’t listen to the naysayers, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this book.
What’s the verdict?
A thousand stars. Go buy it right now. Borrow it at your local library. I don’t care, just go read it, NOW!
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