Cuttle

A Novel

Fiction - Literary
229 Pages
Reviewed on 08/10/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Cuttle is a quirky and clever work of literary fiction penned by author Chelsea Britain. The peculiar title of the tale comes from the post-doctoral work of central protagonist Nora Novak, who has been studying the wonderful world of cuttlefish (and other marine life) for so long that she seems to have forgotten what human life is all about. As her work starts to come to a close and her maze-solving cuttlefish are to be retired from their work too, Nora realizes that she must go forth into the world and explore the possibility that there’s more to life than sitting in her laboratory.

Author Chelsea Britain has produced an intelligent and well-timed story about love, self-esteem and finding your place in the world, which is also highly apt and perfectly in tune with the current social moments of our age. Nora Novak is a perfect candidate for this new experiment in dating beyond thirty, and she is characterized with wit, charm and a lot of extensive research about her favorite subject. I particularly loved the illustrations and the poignant usage of cuttlefish facts at the head of every chapter. The book is exceedingly well paced to endear us to Nora and see our literal fish-out-of-water face the modern world, charmingly ill equipped as she is for it. Readers seeking true delight in their prose will fall in love with Britain’s intellectually laced, nerdy and naïve witticisms, whilst also falling for a character in whom we’ll all see a little of ourselves. Cuttle is a highly recommended read for one and all.

Sefina Hawke

Cuttle by Chelsea Britain is a literary fiction novel that would appeal most to a mixed audience of adults and mature young adults who enjoy following a female character in relearning what it means to date. Nora Novak is a biologist in her early thirties who recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend Cam and has, with some prodding from her mother, decided to embrace #FOMO—fear of missing out. While the decision to embrace #FOMO might not have been easy for Nora Novak, it was not nearly as hard as learning that while she knows all there is to know about cuttlefish and other marine life, she has no idea how to actually date.

Cuttle by Chelsea Britain has a cute cover image that made me want to know more about the creature on the cover. I learned that it was a cuttlefish and with the appealing sketches and short facts that preceded each chapter, I quickly came to love the cuttlefish almost as much as Nora did. Nora was a character that really resonated with me as I am not that much younger than she is and I too have no real idea how to date. The book was filled with Nora’s experiences and life that I found to be entertaining, yet also somewhat educational as her self-actualizing began to teach me a bit about how to be self-actualizing about myself. I liked how Nora used her knowledge of marine life behavior in her observations of herself and those around her. This was both entertaining and offered a different perspective on certain human behaviors. I really liked how the author gave Nora some great friends who were able and willing to help her enter the dating world.