– The House in the Cerulean Sea
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. Copyright 2020, Tor Books (398 pages, $27.00).
The House in the Cerulean Sea is a wonderful, low-fantasy read that is full of charm, heart, understanding, and unexpected humor.
The world that we find ourselves in is one where magic and magical beings are the norm. That is where we find Linus Baker. Linus is a simple man who always follows the rules and works for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth (DICOMY). The story really kicks off as he goes on assignment to the Marsyas Island Orphanage and is to stay for a month as he reports back to Extremely Upper Management. During Linus’s time there he meets the six magical orphans living there; Lucy (the Anti-Christ), Sal (a were-Pomeranian), Theodore (a wyvern), Phee (a sprite), Chauncey (a green blob of sea-like origin), and Talia (a female gnome).
The assignment isn’t too different from Linus’s past case-worker jobs; assess the care of the children, make sure they are all getting their needs met, and that the master of the house, Arthur Parnassus, is doing everything in the best interest of the children.
But while getting to know the children and Arthur, Linus begins to question his way of life, the way of DICOMY and the government, and the innate prejudices that Linus didn’t know he had. The House in the Cerulean Sea parallels racial and sexual prejudices so beautifully and with such a subtle hand that it makes you reassess your own view of the world around you in a kind and gentle way. Klune knew what he was doing by including this theme to go hand in hand with Linus’s growth and acceptance. Allowing us to see that what is normal and what is home and family isn’t the same for everyone, but that all life is really about is unconditional love and respecting the differences of others.
So, if you want a whimsical and world-escaping book then go ahead and read this one. You will love it from the first to last page!
Kayleigh Dyer is a Library Technical Processing Assistant at May Memorial Library. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.