Review: Ocean at the End of The Lane, by Neil Gaiman

I gave this wonderful read 5 stars on Goodreads.

I'll offer no spoilers, but will share its blurb...

~

"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."

~

 I'd read this book while on a night shift and found myself unable 

to tear my eyes away from Neil Gaiman's words, 

until they appeared to dance across the page, 

and I knew I needed more coffee. 


As daylight crept in, I was still turning its pages, 

until, with a feeling of dread, I came to the end of the book.

I was filled with a sense of loss and emptiness, as is often the way

when ending a much-loved tale. Like saying goodbye to an old friend.


I'd loved it ever since and knew I'd want to read it again some day.


Last month, my thoughtful daughter swept me off to London 

where we sat among the audience, while Neil Gaiman 

read a chapter from this wonderful tome, 

and Elise Hurst discussed her illustration technique. 

Throughout the evening I kept sighing, overwhelmed 

with happiness, and really didn't want the night to end.

As we left the building, my daughter pulled me off to a little desk 

where she collected a hard-backed copy of the book and handed it to me. 

Inside, both illustrator and author had signed it. 


I now own a reading copy and this, my treasured copy.

Book reviews are published on the 1st of each month.