June marks the beginning of Pride Month. The celebration of LGBTQ+ pride occurs in June to honor the Stonewall Uprising of June 28, 1969. The previous links will take you to the Library of Congress; I would encourage you to take some time and explore primary sources, images, documentary footage, and audioclips. While the month is typically marked with celebrations and parades, Pride Month also serves as a sober reminder that we have a long history in this country of marginalizing people as well as a history of uprisings by marginalized people against oppression. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks, to say the least, so I was thrilled to get lost in a book that turned out to be exactly what I needed right now.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune is a charming story about a remote island that serves as a home for magical misfits. Linus Barker is a case worker for the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth. In this role he visits government run orphanages and over-sees the well-being of the residents. He is an efficient worker and content with his solitary life. Linus is perplexed whe he is called to a meeting by the Extremely Upper Management. Is he being disciplined for that salad dressing stain on his shirt? It turns out the reason for the meeting is stranger than that. Extremely Upper Management have a special assignment for him- travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside. He is to spend a month there and evaluate the orphange and it’s caretaker, Arthur Parnassus. Also, the assignment is classified, top-secret, and potentially dangerous.
Nothing in his career prepares Linus for what he discovers on the island. He is confronted with a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. His task is to determine for the government if Arthur has control of these children or if they are a threat to the nearby village and possibly the world. As he pushes through his fear and gets to know the inhabitants for Marsyas Island, he discovers a growing closenes with the charming Arthur. He also discovers more dark secrets that threaten to destroy everything.
I cannot emphasis enough how charming and sweet and heartwarming this story is. This book addresses society’s tendancy to fear and shun those who are different, it talks about the meaning of family, and presents a budding gay romance, all with magic and humor. I fell under the spell of Marsyas Island and hope that this is not the end of the story of Linus and Arthur and the children who call the house in the cerulean sea home.
For additional Pride Month Reads be sure to visit our digital libraries for specially curated collections.
OverDrive collection: https://clevnet.overdrive.com/clevnet-rrpl/content/collection/1084850
Stay strong, dear reader, and take care of yourself and each other. We are all in this together.