The Ocean at the End of the Lane

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Read on: 16/10/2016

Rating: ★★★★ 4.3/5

“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”

 

I quite enjoyed my first Gaiman’s book. I’d been planning to read Coraline for a while but, for some reason, the premise of this one caught my eye.

The story starts with a middle-aged man visiting his childhood neighbourhood for a funeral and finding himself in the house at the end of the lane, where a childhood friend used to live. We are transported forty years back to when this man was a little boy. Set in the English countryside we are introduced to a family that is struggling to keep their house. They start renting the little boy’s room and when one of the tenants commits suicide in the family’s car at the end of the lane, the little boy meets Lettie Hempstock.

The Hempstocks are a peculiar family of three women. Old Mrs. Hempstock, her daughter Ginnie Hempstock, and her granddaughter Lettie Hempstock. They live in a barn at the end of the lane. They look clearly out of place with their ancient clothes and strange way of talking, but it is a small pond, which Lettie calls Ocean, that catches the little boy’s attention the most. As the story progresses we face a creature from our nightmares as children and the little boy fights to keep it away from his family.

This book explores our childhood memories and fears, their impact in our adult lives and brings a bit of supernatural to the plate too. It is beautifully written, the story is gripping and transports you back in time to the cherished as well as the sad memories of childhood.

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