Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mini Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Length: 181 pages
Original Publishing Date: January 1st, 2013
Series: Standalone
Where I got it: Audiobook from the library

Synopsis 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.

This was my first Neil Gaiman book and it's safe to say I was impressed. The combination of the magic and the rural English countryside was charming and fascinating. The characters were both mysterious and overwhelmingly universal and relatable. The way that Gaiman writes from a child's perspective is nothing short of miraculous.

God, I think the best part about this book is all the questions it leaves you with. It is simple; it it not plot-driven. However, it weaves a complex search about childhood and about the nature of magic. Don't go in expecting a lot to happen and all your questions about the plot to be answered. They just won't be. But, if you're patient and just let the story run through you, it's absolutely beautiful. And heartbreaking. 

Rating:  4 stars

Your Thoughts: Have you read it? What did you think? If you haven't, will you be adding it to your TBR list? Let me know!

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