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Remarkably Bright Creatures Summary and Key Lessons

“Remarkably Bright Creatures” is a captivating tale of family, discovery, and the unlikely bond between a woman and an intelligent octopus. As secrets unfold, two seemingly unrelated people find connection in the most unexpected ways.

Quick summary: Elderly Tova befriends Marcellus, a smart octopus in Sowell Bay Aquarium. As Tova confronts her painful past and estranged family, Cameron, searching for his father, comes into her life. Through surprising revelations, they discover their deep connection and the truth behind Tova’s son’s death.

Remarkably Bright Creatures Full Summary

We’ve got a grandma named Tova who works at the Sowell Bay Aquarium. But here’s the twist – her best bud is Marcellus, an octopus! Yeah, you read that right. Marcellus isn’t your typical octopus; he’s got smarts and is basically Houdini in the water, sneaking out for snacks and adventures.

Tova’s got a heavy heart, though. She lost her son, Erik, in a boat accident when he was 18. Everyone thinks he took his own life, but Tova’s instincts tell her otherwise.

Enter stage left: Cameron. He’s a bit of a hot mess. Loses jobs left and right and his girlfriend, Katie, is done with his drama. He’s got this idea that if he can find his long-lost dad, Simon Brinks, he’ll score big and all his problems will vanish.

Back in Sowell Bay, Tova’s world gets rocked again when her brother dies. Just when you think things can’t get worse, she takes a nasty fall at work. 


Cameron winds up in Sowell Bay and scores a job at the aquarium. Remember Marcellus, our genius octopus? 

Well, he’s got this hunch that Tova and Cameron are related. He can’t just shout it out (because, you know, he’s an octopus) but boy, does he have some slick moves up his tentacles!

Plot twist: Cameron finds out that the rich dude, Simon, isn’t his dad. Burn! 

But Marcellus is on a mission. He finds a ring that makes Tova connect the dots: her son Erik was actually Cameron’s dad!

The story has a roller-coaster of emotions but ends on a high. Cameron returns, and he, Tova, Ethan (remember the guy with a crush on Tova?), and a chill local lady named Avery create their own version of a modern family. 

And Marcellus, our MVP octopus, finally gets his freedom in the vast ocean. 

How’s that for a splashy ending?

Remarkably Bright Creatures Summary

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Key Lessons

1. Trust Your Gut!

Tova knows something’s fishy (pun intended) with the story of her son’s death. She doesn’t buy into the whole “Erik killed himself” theory. It’s like when everyone’s raving about a new trend, but you’re not feeling it. Listen to that inner voice! 

Whether it’s a gut feeling about a person, a job, or pineapple on pizza, trust yourself. 

Your instincts have your back!

2. Unlikely Friendships are the Realest 

Remember Marcellus? 

The genius octopus? 

Who would’ve thought a grandma and an octopus could hit it off? 

The universe has a crazy way of sending the right beings into our lives when we least expect it. 

Whether it’s an old school friend, a next-door neighbor, or, well, an octopus, sometimes the most unexpected relationships bring the most joy and clarity.

3. Life’s a Roller-coaster, Ride It 

From Tova’s heartaches to Cameron’s daddy issues, life isn’t a smooth sail. 

But guess what? 

The crazy twists, the heart-stopping drops, and the soaring highs make the ride worthwhile. 

When life throws you off track (or into an aquarium), find your Marcellus, make a splash, and keep swimming!

Also Read: Without Merit Summary and Key Lessons | Colleen Hoover

4. The Past is a Puzzle, and Sometimes We Need Help Finding the Pieces 

Dive deep into Tova’s and Cameron’s stories, and you’ll see that understanding the past is like trying to complete a puzzle with missing pieces. 

Cameron’s hunting for his real dad, and Tova’s searching for the truth about her son. And who comes to the rescue? 

Marcellus, our eight-armed detective! 

The lesson? 

You might need some unexpected help to see the bigger picture. It’s okay to lean on others, whether they’re family, friends, or a particularly insightful octopus!

5. Home Isn’t a Place, It’s Where the Heart Is 

Tova’s thinking of moving to a retirement home, Cameron’s living out of a camper van, but by the end of the story, they find their true home with each other and their newfound family. 

Home isn’t about four walls or a fancy address. It’s where you feel loved, understood, and safe. 

So whether you’re at a college dorm, traveling the world, or just chilling on your couch, remember that home is where you make it. 

And sometimes, it’s right where you started.

Final Thoughts

“Remarkably Bright Creatures” is a heartwarming exploration of human connections, acceptance, and the lengths one would go to discover the truth. Through unexpected friendships and the wisdom of an octopus, it underscores the importance of family, healing, and second chances. The novel beautifully interweaves emotions, mystery, and love in its narrative.

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