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Friday, July 3, 2015

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

We all know how super hot this book was last summer, and I picked it up over spring break. This is Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Funerals are always full of nostalgia and the past. When a middle-aged man goes home for one in his childhood town of Sussex, he revisits a past he has long forgotten but which has always had a hold on him. He met Lettie Hempstock when he was seven, She was a vital part of a frightening part of his life, when a boarder of his family's committed suicide, releasing a chain of events that affected everyone's lives forever. Lettie was his comfort and his guide, and someone he can never let go.

So, my big confession is that this is my first ride with Gaiman. I will pause, let you catch your breath, and then be angry at me for that first statement. I know, I know, I'm behind the times -- but I have rectified it with this novel. It was interesting for sure, and intriguing as well. Gaiman has a way with the supernatural that brings it into the world of the real; when he writes about fantastical creatures in this novel, they are human and realistic, lending them a humanness that grounds them in the world. It's incredible, really.

This is a coming of age story that digs deep into our beliefs about humanity and family. This is a short novella, but it is whimsical and moving and caring and loving. It introduces us to a world we may not understand, and, in fact, the narrator himself may not even really understand. It's the beauty of childhood as well as the curse. May we all one day come back from our ocean at the end of the lane. 

For purchase below. 

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