First off, apologies I fell off the grid last year but my one and only New Year’s resolution was to get back to writing these reviews for the books I read. I really appreciate this community and the thoughtful conversations about books, plus the reviews give me my own personal cliff notes on everything I read.
But y’all, I’m back with a banger. I almost worry that nothing else I read in 2021 will be up to the same standard as The House In The Cerulean Sea because this book is exquisite and full of heart and love and absolutely bursting at the seams with joy. One of the reviews described it as “Umbrella Academy meets 1984 with a dash of Douglas Adams” and they’re not wrong, but they also somehow neglected to mention that I would be smiling the whole time.
Our main character is Linus Baker, a low level government inspector of orphanages for magical children. He appreciates the rules, he follows the rules, and he figures that’s how things work for the best. He’s assigned a strange case out on the edges of society, to spend a month at a highly classified orphanage that’s nothing like anything he’s ever seen before and it tilts his world on its axis, for the better.
That is a very simplistic overview but let me tell you that you are going to fall head over heels in love with just about everyone you meet. Some of them are ornery and some of them look wicked and some of them are the child of Satan but they all have such big hearts. It’s a book about recognizing that differences are to be embraced, not feared. And that there is special in the most ordinary of us. It’s heartstoppingly beautiful.
It’s the little things, I expect. Little treasures we find without knowing their origin. And they come when we least expect them. It’s beautiful, when you think about it.