The Ocean at the End of the Lane
written by Neil Gaiman
published by William Morrow Books
Why did I pick this book: Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. He’s awesome. He gets his own shelf on my living room.
Did I enjoy this book: Of course! A girl needs her Gaiman fix, doesn’t she?
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a dark, quirky little tale that, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have trouble putting down. Gaiman creates a fantasy world full of magic and mystery – or maybe it’s just a little boy’s imagination – I’m not sure it matters much, really. His characters are, as always, just the right amount of crazy. I liked Lettie Hempstock so much she might overtake Door (from Neverwhere) on my “List of Neil Gaiman Characters to Have Tea With” (Yes, I actually have a list, and YES, that’s a preposition at the end of it. Don’t tell my English teacher).
I loved it. I loved this line: “I make art, sometimes I make true art, and sometimes it fills the empty places in my life.” I loved the two moons, the gray and pink monsters, the ponds-that-are-possibly-oceans. I don’t care if the kittens grew out of the ground or not; I willingly suspended my disbelief for Gaiman, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Would I recommend it: Yup. Read it. At least twice.
Will I read it again: I’m already half-way through my second reading.
About the book – from Goodreads: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.
A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.
Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!