I had mixed feelings about this book. I loved this book and I didn’t love this book. I read through some sections grinning from ear to ear, amazed and delighted at what I was reading and learning. I read some pages through tears, heartbroken and shocked that an unknown creature could bring me to tears. The compassion and respect with which Sy Montgomery writes about octopuses is a beautiful thing and, when she is just writing about them, this is an extraordinary book. She opens our eyes to the astounding, intelligent, emotional beings that cephalopods are. I learned so much about them – their physiology, biology, evolutionary history. But then there were times when the book just got too precious for me, I don’t know how else to describe it, and her writing felt somehow forced. I wanted her to stick to being a naturalist, being a science writer, and stop attempting to stretch metaphors. Thankfully, those sections were in the minority and most of the book was an excellent read.
I am very glad to have read this book. It makes me want to further my understanding and experience of these startling creatures. They are so bizarre, so completely unlike any known animal, absolutely fascinating. And yet we share much with them.