Friday, July 12, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This novel may not be long, but what it contains will keep you glued to your seat until the very last page.

The narrator is a middle aged man who has returned to his childhood home for a funeral.  After the funeral he finds himself driving down a lane to a farmhouse the evokes memories of what happened to him the year he turned seven. He walks past the farmhouse, down to a pond, and sits on a bench.  From there the story unfolds back to that year he met Lettie Hempstock and she told him the ocean was in the pond.  It was also the year he became a pawn between good and evil, with only Lettie and her mother and Old Mrs. Hempstock protecting him from the "flea".

Ursula Monkton is a major character in this novel, and is the stuff of nightmares.  Neil Gaiman evokes that feeling of being small and the world being so large and full of the unknown quite easily.  You will find yourself remembering what it was like to be young and know when something is not quite right, but helpless to fix it.  

I enjoyed this novel because it was pure magic.  You just have to immerse yourself in the story and float along, knowing Lettie will be holding your hand.  

I would recommend this for teens and adults.  It's almost but not quite appropriate for young readers as there are adult situations portrayed that may be too much for a young person.

Rating:  7/10 for a story that is imaginative and evokes your childhood fears and belief in the good that surrounds us all.

Available in hardcover, audio, and e-book

1 comment :

  1. i just read this yesterday, i knew nothing about when i started, thought it was going to be an ocean book to read by the sea ;-) i loved it, gave it 4.5 out of 5, not until i finished it did i realize i had read his graveyard book and loved it too. i just bot anasazi boys, i really enjoy his style and magical realms~