Author: Niel Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition, 2013
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
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 and wise beyond her years, promised to protect him no matter what.
I would have given this book 4 stars if it was longer. I didn’t want it to end. From the overview, I expected it to be at least 300 pages–but it was only 157 (the ebook format). The story is extremely fast paced until it abruptly ends. When I got to the end, I remember thinking “this can’t be right–did I accidentally download the sampler?” but no. That was the end. I loved everything about the book–up to the end. I wanted more background and facts on Letter and her family. Apparently it was originally meant to be a short story, but it had made the novel word count (a very short novel word count). I wish this had been a longer novel. I know Gaiman isn’t famous for doing sequels or a series but I would really, really love more stories about the Hempstock’s.
About the Author
Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman (born Neil Richard Gaiman; 10 November 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008). In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards. | Author Website
Text © 2014 Amanda Barber
Re-print © 2014 The Black Lion Journal
Re-printed with permission.
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