Synopsis from Goodreads: Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.
This book was on my TBR list for a while and I’m so glad I read it. It’s a lovely, charming story about finding love in many forms – romantic love, self-love and love for a found family.
TJ Klune seamlessly blends magic and a world we almost know to create this tale and I fell hard for not only Linus Baker, the main character, but the supporting cast of characters. (Chauncey, you adorable thing, you can carry my luggage any day!) I loved the messages of acceptance, not only accepting others for who they are, but also accepting yourself – all the weird bits and the lovely bits. I appreciated that even Arthur Parnassus, the man who runs the orphanage on the island, has room to grow in this story, even if he appears to be perfect from day one. He’s a good reminder too that most people are more than what they seem, and can surprise you in a good way if you allow yourself to get to know them.
I also loved Linus’s journey. He appears to be the most stolid, boring case worker in the history of government agency ever. A total by-the-book (and it’s a big fat book full of Rules and Regulations) kind of drone, but his growth arc through the book as he meets the children in the orphanage and grows to love them equally and individually made me want to stand up and cheer once he finally sheds his stuffy exterior and his true giving, kind nature shows through more and more.
I’ll definitely look for more books by this author. I loved his writing style and the quirky magical world he’s created for these completely believable characters. I feel like this ought to be a textbook for learning how to accept and love your fellow man/woman/creature of uncertain origin. Go grab yourself a copy – you won’t be sorry!
This was book 2/2 for the July Completely Melanie reading challenge (for a book set on an island or beach) and book 11/20 for my #20booksofsummer challenge.