I’ve probably said it before but if you’re anything like me reading has recently become kind of a chore. After recently getting a dedicated e-reader the total volume of my reading has increased, just from the sheer volume of titles now available to me at the click of a button, but I was still having a hard time finding a book that I thought deserved particular attention. That is until I found this week’s book.
“The House in the Cerulean Sea” is the sweetest little novel, and a surprisingly quick read, written by T.J. Klune. It takes place in a fantasy world, not unlike earth, that follows the life of one Linus Baker, a caseworker for the Department In Charge of Magical Youth. At DICOMY his job is to evaluate the orphanages the department runs when situations arise, including the facilities and the masters in charge of each one. Although not uncaring Linus is proud of his ability to do his work by the book, literally a 900+ page volume entitled “Rules and Regulations” that he purchased from the company and lugs with him wherever he goes. It is because of this attention to the rules that Linus is given a special assignment by Extremely Upper Management to evaluate one of their more extraordinary orphanages.
An orphaned gnome, who keeps the most beautiful garden, and a shy young man who, when overtaken by extreme anxiety, turns into a Pomeranian are just a few of the children that give this orphanage its life and color, a very different setting than Linus’s usual drab gray life. Over the month that Linus has been given to evaluate the home, he is confronted with how living by the book can not only be restrictive of life and all it has to offer but may end up being detrimental, too.
If you’re looking for a cozy read that makes you think a bit “The House in the Cerulean Sea” fits the bill perfectly. I’ve heard good things about his most recent book “Under the Whispering Door” and it’s now on the top of my to-be-read book pile. Could this mark the end of my reading slump?
Klune, T.J. The House in the Cerulean Sea. New York: Tor, 2020.