Published: June 18, 2013
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. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.
I’m probably one of the few readers who are not crazy about author, Neil Gaiman, but I’ve always thought his books were just okay, nothing special. That it, until this one!
This is a beautifully told and read story (the author was the narrator) about a short period of time where in a young boy of seven became friends with a young girl of eleven and her mother and grandmother. The women owed and ran a farm at the end of a lane in England and had paranormal powers which were never really questioned by the boy. Wouldn’t it be great to be that age again and take everything and everyone at face value?
Though he didn’t mean to, the boy brought a previously bound entity into his world and the story deals with how and what it took to banish it back to where it came from.
I won’t go into detail but the girl ends up sacrificing her life for the boy and has to be put under the water of the pond on the farm. Her mother said it would take some time for “the ocean” to heal her. It’s been forty years when the story starts and she is still unhealed and nowhere to be seen.
It’s a remarkable story of youth, believing, friendships, family, and sacrifice. It made me cry and I loved it!!!