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Discussion Guide

Creatures: A Novel

By Crissy Van Meter

“An unwavering triumph.” —The New York Times Book Review

Crissy Van Meter’s Creatures is the alluring debut novel everyone has been raving about, from The New York Times to People, from Belletrist Book Club to Entertainment Weekly

On the eve of Evangeline’s wedding on Winter Island, the groom may be lost at sea, a dead whale is trapped in the harbor, and Evie’s mostly absent mother has shown up out of the blue. From there, in this mesmerizing, provocative debut, the narrative flows back and forth through time as Evie reckons with her complicated upbringing—a weed-dealing, charming but neglectful father, a wild-child best friend—in this lush land off the coast of Southern California.
A Most Anticipated Book of the Year – according to Entertainment Weekly, The Millions andBustleCreatures lived up to the hype.With wit, love, and bracing flashes of anger, Creatures probes the complexities of family and abandonment, guilt and forgiveness, betrayal and grief—and exerts a pull as strong as the tides.


Discussion Questions

Use these discussion questions to guide your next book club meeting.

What were your initial impressions of Evie? How did they change by the end of the book?
The setting of Winter Island plays a large part in Creatures. What does this island represent to Evie and her life?
Creatures could be read as a parable about climate change; it’s full of extreme weather patterns. How does the metaphor of climate change play a role in Evie’s life?

“Van Meter’s debut is an unwavering triumph . . . A coming-of-age that’s as human as it is wild.” —The New York Times Book Review

“An alluring, atmospheric debut.” —People

“Tenacious, wildly original and full of insight.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Lush and complex.” Los Angeles Times


“It’s one of the best novels I've read this year.” —Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things

“Wiry, rhythmic, and wrenchingly beautiful.”—Leni Zumas, bestselling author of Red Clocks 

"A beautiful look at how we navigate the pain and heartbreak that comes with being human." —NPR

This recommended reading and discussion guide are shared and sponsored in partnership with Algonquin.