The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune is one of the most charming stories I have ever read, let alone read in 2020. The simple story of a by-the-book caseworker sent to observe and assess the mysterious Marsyas Orphanage is heartwarming and hopeful. After the crappy year that is 2020, it is the best story to end the year and guide you into 2020.
It is simply impossible not to fall in love with each one of the orphans or with Linus as everything at the orphanage challenges his worldview. The characters, while mostly consisting of mythical creatures, are delightful. My particular favorites are Talia, with her penchant for mumbling threats under her breath, and Theodore, with his utter delight at receiving a button. The children’s innocence and vulnerability are refreshing and are what lend the story its heart.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is a hopeful story, something we all need as we enter 2021. With many of us having spent the majority of the year at home, its reminder to take the time to see and appreciate all the wonder that exists around us is essential as the walls of our dwellings become less comforting and more constraining every day. Plus, Linus reminds us to fight against injustice because even one whisper can grow into a roar. Again, with everything that happened this year, we need this reminder that our efforts can make a difference, no matter how small they are.
I will be adding The House in the Cerulean Sea to my best reads of 2020 list. Plus, I would love to obtain a permanent copy because it is the type of novel that deserves multiple readings. If you are looking for an excellent book to finish the year or a fantastic first novel for 2021, look no further than The House in the Cerulean Sea.