So I quickly devoured Neil Gaiman’s latest book called The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and it is truly my favorite. He seems to have a way to create the most original story with the most vivid and outlandish characters, and he has done it again. This is a quick read…just under 200 pages. It is a fairy tale…no a fable…no a myth….or perhaps something altogether new and different.
The story presents itself in a form of a flashback when an older man returns to his home in England to attend a funeral. It is during this visit that he is reminded of a time 40 years earlier. It was when he was seven years old, and Lettie Hempstock enters his life. He had just discovered the suicide of a most unusual man when Lettie appears. This sets off a series of wonderfully bizarre events which lead them both on a mission both terrifying and intriguing. Lettie is a bit older than this oddly refreshing boy, and she seems to understand him like no one else. Quickly they form a friendship because she knows “things”, and he does not doubt her knowledge and her magic.
Gaiman’s storytelling ability is so rich that I fell in love with the characters and then ultimately the story. Truthfully, it is the characters, we as readers, first care about and their story is secondary. Please do yourself a favor….if you love magic, believe it something that you can not always see and know there is good and evil around us….then please pick up this book and lose yourself for an afternoon.