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Discussion Guide

House in the Cerulean Sea

By TJ Klune

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he's given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

 

This discussion guide was shared and sponsored in partnership with TOR. 

Discussion Questions

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

As an employee of DICOMY, Linus Baker works under very rigid rules and regulations (and that’s literally the name of the handbook he refers to quite often!). He’s constantly being monitored, yet he still manages to produce quality work. Why does he push through working under such pressure? And if you were in his shoes, would you be able to work under those conditions?

Linus is a very lonely man and prior to investigating the Marsyas Island Orphanage, his only friend and family is his aloof cat Calliope. While building a family and a home becomes important for Linus as the story progresses, why wasn’t this a priority in his past? Why is he so isolated as an adult, and do you think this can this be attributed to what his home life was like growing up?

This book is thoroughly endearing, and part of the reason is because of the children! They each have such unique  and incredible powers. Whose magical abilities appeal to you most? If you were to choose your own magical powers, what would they be and why?