Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: William Morrow Books, June 2013
Summary: 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, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what. (Taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts: I was really excited to read The Ocean at the end of the lane and was very surprised by the size of it. This book is tiny; I was expecting a large novel of 300-400 pages but that’s alright as I was able to read it in no time.
This book has a lot of dark undertones and it goes into some quite dark places but through a child’s eyes which I felt made it feel a little bit darker than it actually was. I think it also depends on your own personal morals and values whether or not you think some of the events are really all that ‘dark’ or not.
Anyway, I felt a little unnerved throughout the entire book. I didn’t like the new housekeeper at all, and I have to say it was very interesting what Neil Gaiman did with her, as he showed that there are two sides to every story and that Ursula Monkton can be seen as both bad and good, depending on which way you see her.
For the most part I enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane but there were a couple of things that bothered me a little bit. The first was the relationship between the main character and his father, in the beginning it seems like a standard father son relationship but then later on the main character talks of how him and his father never really got along and there were a couple of events that showed this too.
I thought the Ocean and the three women who lived at the end of the lane were really interesting but I would have liked to have seen more of them.
Overall, this book was slightly reminiscent of Coraline but in a more adult context, if you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman then I would suggest giving this one a read.