Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

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A man returns to his hometown of Sussex, England for a funeral. On impulse he walks down the road to an old farm where 40 years earlier something extraordinary happened to him, darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. With the help of Lettie Hempstock (and her mother and Grandmother), the darkness is battled and the strangest, most terrifying time of his life is over.

I finished this book a week or so ago but I wasn’t sure what I would write for a review. See the book is fantastic, Neil Gaiman at his magical realism best, but how could I review it properly? This book is dreamlike in its writing. All the characters are otherworldly and yet feel familiar. The narrator, the boy is childlike in a believable way. He is only seven after all. Bookish and different from his sister, he feels alone and separate from his family. HE feels unconnected from his life in a way, at least until he meets Lettie Hempstock and her family.

They meet in a strange way, the suicide of a renter that had stolen his dads car, and the story only gets stranger from then on. Lettie and her family are down-home and simple and yet ethereal in that particular Gaiman way. They are nice and welcoming and protect the boy from harm many times throughout the book.

I find it hard to put into words how this book made me feel at the end. It was scary and funny, but with a melancholy air to it. I loved it thoroughly.

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