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The House in the Cerulean Sea
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Monthly Reads > October 2020 -- The House in the Cerulean Sea (Spoilers Allowed)

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Oleksandr Zholud | 1708 comments Mod
Final thoughts discussion


message 2: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca | 10 comments So I pretty much knew Linus would end up living there from the beginning, but at the same time, it didn't feel like it was that formulaic. Oddly, my mind wanted to put it in an earlier time period, I was regularly surprised when they mentioned computers.


Kristenelle | 561 comments I really liked this! It was light, but funny. I really liked the unusual cast of characters in the home. My one pet peeve is “the message” was a little heavy handed. It was a great message. I just prefer my fiction to be more subtle.


message 4: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca | 10 comments Kristen wrote: "I really liked this! It was light, but funny. I really liked the unusual cast of characters in the home. My one pet peeve is “the message” was a little heavy handed. It was a great message. I just ..."

I'd like you to explain what you thought the message was. If you are seeing the message being about tolerance and inclusion, yes it was pretty heavy handed. Alternatively, I think it was more about taking a step away from our bubbles to see what it is we have become accustomed to, that Linus Baker never really thought about what happened to the children after his visits, or as adults, he just was doing his job in a system that wasn't really in the children's best interests, and how familiarity with a situation makes it harder to see that it needs changing.


Kristenelle | 561 comments Yes, all of the above. :) Mostly that different isn’t bad and we need to be inclusive. I agree that the message of needing to step back and outside our bubbles to be able to understand more critically was more subtle.


Kristenelle | 561 comments Haha, that is so funny that you felt it was set in the past before computers. I didn’t really feel that way. In my mind it was present adjacent but in a comic fantasy world. Like, I kind of imagined everything in the same art style as the cover.


Cordelia (anne21) | 83 comments I didn't really see this as a book with a message. I just soaked it all up and enjoyed it as a really lovely story. I sort of knew that it was going to be "happy ever after" which made me enjoy it more. It was full of such joy.


Oleksandr Zholud | 1708 comments Mod
My review is here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

and now I'll catch up with this thread


Oleksandr Zholud | 1708 comments Mod
Rebecca wrote: " Oddly, my mind wanted to put it in an earlier time period, I was regularly surprised when they mentioned computers"

I guess it is early 1980s - there are still vinyl records, wire phones, early PCs are most likely IBM PC XT (1983) or AT (1984).

Classic rock'n'roll (buddy Holly, etc) is already mentioned as oldies, I doubt it would be in say 60s


Oleksandr Zholud | 1708 comments Mod
Kristen wrote: "My one pet peeve is “the message” was a little heavy handed. "

I agree that the message about inclusivity and diversity was heavily handed, more like going with the hype of a day than internal necessity felt by the author I think. I stress that the message is important, but it seems that modern SFF forget that there can be other messages

Rebecca wrote: "I think it was more about taking a step away from our bubbles to see what it is we have become accustomed to, that Linus Baker never really thought about what happened to the children after his visits, or as adults, he just was doing his job in a system "

Yes, it can be viewed that way, but this sudden shift from a complete naivete to active fighter wasn't convincing for me. I have to admit, at the start I assumed more grizzly secrets, like genocide of magical adults.


Oleksandr Zholud | 1708 comments Mod
It was mentioned by Kristen in reply to my review: I assumed the setting is alt-British isles, while she thought it is the US. What is your feel on the subject?


Cordelia (anne21) | 83 comments Oleksandr wrote: "It was mentioned by Kristen in reply to my review: I assumed the setting is alt-British isles, while she thought it is the US. What is your feel on the subject?"

I thought it was UK. I didn't really think about it - it just was.


message 13: by Gabi (last edited Oct 17, 2020 03:28AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gabi | 424 comments Kristen wrote: "I really liked this! It was light, but funny. I really liked the unusual cast of characters in the home. My one pet peeve is “the message” was a little heavy handed. It was a great message. I just ..."

That's exactly how I felt. I subtracted one star for that. More subtlety would have worked wonders! But all in all it was a wonderful comfort read. Especially if you yourself feel not welcomed by the society around you.

@Rebecca: yup, me too! Ever so often I I had to change my mindset back to contemporary times. Linus was written as such a typical British gentleman of ... let's say ... 50 - 100 years ago.


Oleksandr Zholud | 1708 comments Mod
Gabi wrote: "@Rebecca: yup, me too! Ever so often I I had to change my mindset back to contemporary times. Linus was written as such a typical British gentleman of ... let's say ... 50 - 100 years ago."

Note that time flies and 50 years ago was in 1970


message 15: by Gabi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gabi | 424 comments @Oleksandr: :D Yes, I know that.


Oleksandr Zholud | 1708 comments Mod
Gabi wrote: "@Oleksandr: :D Yes, I know that."

and terminals for such large machines as Минск-32 (1968-1975) - Soviet equivalent of IBM System/360 (1964-), so it can be even pre-oil crisis 1970s


Kateblue | 729 comments Mod
Rebecca wrote: "So I pretty much knew Linus would end up living there from the beginning . . . Oddly, my mind wanted to put it in an earlier time period"

Me, too. And I did feel that it was kind of preachy. Also, it seemed ti move a bit slowly. But I still really liked it.

And I pictured it as being in Oregon, probably because I am bingewatching "Grimm" on Amazon Prime. With the long train ride perhaps down to the coast in California.


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