Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Five top stories about embracing found family

At Tor.com SFF maven Cole Rush tagged "five stories [that] celebrate found families and the wonderful, unconventional love they share," including:
The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Let’s start with the most heartwarming story on the list (possibly of all time?). The House In The Cerulean Sea follows Linus Baker, a caseworker for the Department In Charge Of Magical Youth. He’s sent on a unique assignment to a mysterious house where a group of charming magical young ones are being raised by the enigmatic Arthur Parnassus.

As Linus learns more about the children—the Antichrist, a blob, a were-pomeranian, and a gnome, to name a few—he discovers the family he never had.

Cerulean Sea packages hundreds of lessons and wise quips into its pages; my personal favorite is the way the story teaches how to understand and appreciate the impact others can have on you. In this case, Arthur Parnassus plays a big role, but the kids are the stars. They introduce Linus to new ways of thinking, and they teach him that the ignorant bliss of childhood can give way to a personal epiphany. Linus, stuck in a corporate job he’s convinced himself is the life he wanted, blossoms into a loving person willing to embrace others for all their glorious differences.

During the holidays, that’s an important lesson. Surround yourself with people who ignite positive change within you, and who can lift you up even when you think there’s nowhere left to grow.
Read about another entry on the list.

The House in the Cerulean Sea is among S.C. Perkins's seven crime novels filled with family members.

--Marshal Zeringue