Goodreads Summary: 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.
At first this book seems like the many others, about an older man going to the place where he grew up and reliving the memories of his younger years but this book doesn’t fail to quickly engulf us in a world of terror and magic. I instantly became enthralled with the narrator in the story and found the Hempstock’s mysterious and enchanting. Throughout the story we are given hints about who these three woman are but we are never told everything. *I must say that it takes a while to truly understand the plot of the story but eventually it becomes clearer as you keep reading.
Neil Gaiman has created yet another world that makes you wonder even after you have read the last sentence. Somehow, murder, evil nannies, magic and an ocean were weaved together to create one hell of a story. This novel teaches us how stories will never grow old if we don’t want them to. I will not and do not want to give away much about this book because I have no doubt in my mind that you will take something away from this book, as I have. However, that’s for you to discover. This book has changed my perspective, even if it’s just for a little while. A reread for sure.
Above all, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a beautiful story that will stay with all it’s readers and remind them that our memories are never completely lost.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Next Book Review: Wake by Abria Mattina
- “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman (pennycandyreviews.wordpress.com)
- Required Reading: Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013) (thebiggernerd.wordpress.com)