Cuttle: A Novel

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Nora works her fingers to the bone. She knows everything there is to know about cuttlefish, and she has devoted her life to their well-being, almost to the exclusion of all others in her life. She is intelligent, thoughtful, and wants to further her education. Nora has everything going for her including four potential romantic relationships she can’t seem to sort out. When she is presented with the opportunity to apply for a fellowship in Australia, she is eager and somewhat hopeful. As she pours her heart and soul into her application, she attempts to tackle her own mixed feelings over three men who are sending her their own very mixed signals.

Cuttle, by Chelsea Britain, is the unique and engaging story of Nora, who possesses clearly-defined INTJ personality traits and struggles with her own overwhelming thoughts day in and day out. With help from her two doting roommates, Nora manages to navigate the perils of daily life and the precarious pitfalls of dating.

Cuttle is insanely good. From start to finish, I was sucked into Nora’s life and appreciated the little hints the author gives about Nora’s unique personality. Though I can’t relate to her obsession with cuttlefish, it didn’t matter at all. Britain writes Nora’s character so vividly that I found myself absorbed in her descriptions of the species and her almost over-the-top care for them. Nora is different from most women, but she is fascinating.

I love the little touches the author adds throughout this first-person narrative that indicate the elements of INTJ. Not being familiar with this personality type, I began to assume through the first chapter or two that Nora had autism–there are some parallels. Her need to recite the names of all shark types when confronted with a stressful situation is repeated throughout the book as is her compelling need to be alone with her thoughts. Not being able to relate to her particular idiosyncrasies is not a barrier to reading, understanding, or loving this book.

One of Nora’s most endearing qualities is her tendency to listen to her “head-mom.” I absolutely fell in love with this line the first time Nora mentions it. It is the perfect way to describe her need for a mother’s advice and her own inability to relate to those around her. Every time she refers to her head-mom, I have to smile. Nora, capable of so many academic achievements, is in need of guidance in her relationships. Her roommates are the ideal housemates and friends and watch out for her wellbeing. They are a fantastic additions to Nora’s story and compliment her well.

Reading about the way Nora copes with everyday life is fascinating. Britain does a beautiful job of presenting a life with INTJ to readers. She gives us a well-drawn picture of what Nora faces and how she digs down deep to cope. Readers of all genres will appreciate this look into Nora’s life.

Pages: 254 | ISBN 978-1-951796-01-3

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 7, 2020, in Book Reviews, Five Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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