I have been very vocal in the last few months on the fact that the current cultural zeitgeist is that dark equal deep and that the entertainment we consume has no place left for complex emotions like joy, sweetness and even melancholy (the good kind). This was further aggravated by the discourse around The Last of Us II, and how it forces the player to commit cruel acts for the sake of trying to create a complex story.
I also spent most of the last few weeks dealing with episodes of anxiety and panic attacks (as one does in uncertain times) and mostly dealt with it by walking to the lake and spending a few hours reading a book or just relaxing.
I read The House in the Cerulean Sea in one evening while sitting at the edge of lake Ontario watching the sunset, and it was exactly what I was looking for. A book filled with warmth and sweetness, and yet has enough hints of sadness to add a wonderful sense of complexity to what can easily be considered a fairly standard story about magical kids in an orphanage and finding family in unexpected places.
It is a warm blanket in book form.
A few notes:
- I have avoided playing The Last of Us II and instead I have been playing a lot of smaller indie games. Mutazione, gave me the same fuzzy warm feelings as this book and I would recommend it for anyone who just wants to play a game in which you sing to flowers and talk to villagers about their love life.
- I have read other T.J. Klune books in the past, and will highly recommend his books (Wolfsong is especially good)
- While it is m/m romance book, it is very PG and probably written for a younger audience. It is also mostly centred around the children and the relationship between the adults and the children, so the traditional romance plot is mostly left for the imagination.
- I love all the characters (and really contemplate making a drawing of them) but Chauncey the tentacle blob who wants to become a bellhop is my favourite.
- I don’t think you need to sit at the beach of Lake Ontario while reading the book but it certainly can help 🙂