Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Published by William Morrow Books on June 18th 2013
Pages: 181
Buy on Amazon

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.

I have been a fan of Gaiman's for a couple of years now and haven't come close to reading all of his books. So when this one came out, I was dying to read it. It has been a while since I read any of his books and I love when he writes in prose, although his graphic novels are brilliant. 

Coming back home to Sussex, an old man remembers an old friend named Lettie, a girl who lived at the end of the lane. When he visits, he starts to remember his childhood, a troubling and traumatic experience involving strange creatures. All of it because he let go of Lettie's hand for a few seconds, a creature came loose in his world and wrecked havoc on his household. 

I love the storytelling of Gaiman, and I couldn't put the book down for long without thinking about the story and characters. While reading, I was entranced and captivated by the tale and felt as though I was in it myself. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a book that I will most likely read several times. I highly recommend any of Gaiman's books, but particularly this one, which is a short and beautiful read that will leave you stunned and in wonderment at the end. 

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