Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book Review -- The Ocean at the End of the Lane


The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My enjoyment rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Library
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, coming of age
Objectionable material: sexual situation

In the countryside of Sussex a man returns to the site of his childhood home, long since demolished, to reflect on his family after attending a funeral. Curious about the surrounding area, he wanders down the lane to visit the Hempstock farm, home to his childhood friend Lettie, her mother and grandmother.

But the visit does more than satisfy his curiosity – it also unveils years of repressed memories that are more frightening than dreams.

Neil Gaiman, where have you been all my life?

In the spirit of Grimm and L’Engle, Gaiman once again weaves fairytale magic as he creates a mysterious dimension within the boundaries of Hempstock farm.

I was scared, I was mesmerized, I was anxious…and ultimately, I was completely satisfied with the unfolding fable.

I loved Lettie and the courage she exhibited, much beyond her 11 years (and one wonders, how many years?). Her mother and grandmother, along with Lettie, represent the often used trifecta (think the 3 witches in Macbeth) of magical women – and their power was unmatched. Our unnamed narrator was equally terrified, weak, broken, and brave. All of the elements of reality and fantasy are “stitched” together masterfully.

The end makes one wonder if our memories should be trusted or if if life is all a dream.