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Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Author: Neil Gaiman
Title:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Publication: June 3, 2014
Publisher: William Murrow
Genre: Adult, Modern Fantasy
Pages: 181
Audience: 17 and up
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Purchased

Synopsis (from the cover): 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.

My thoughts: I love Neil Gaiman and thought he would be the perfect author to read after a rough patch and dry reading spell in my life. It was kind of hard for me to get into this book. I spent a while trying to get into it wondering if I was going to give up on it. I’m glad I didn’t. This book has stuck with me in ways I could not have imagined. 
There are times I am by myself and think of the evil Ursla Monkton and how she invaded the little narrator. I went to a panel with horror writers at a convention. One of the writers asked the audience “What was horror to us?” Someone said to them horror was when something got in other their skin and stayed with them. I can honestly say there was a horrifying chapter with a worm that has not left me since I read it. 
The narrator, he is never named gets on my nerves at times, but the Hempstock women, especially Lettie redeem him and make the book worth the read. Oh and that little cat at the Hempstock house it so precious!  It is a book about growing up, stories, fear, bravery, grief, and all the things that make us human. It was a fantastic read that will stick with you for a while.

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