Sep 8, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman

Another book club book, my boss likens this to "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" for adults, and I think her description is very apt. It's a novella, really, of a grown man remembering a harrowing, magic-fraught couple of days when he was seven. He lived in the English countryside, and at the end of their lane was the Hempstock farm: Old Mrs. Hempstock, who likes to keep the full moon always shining into the bedroom windows; Mrs. Hempstock, a strong motherly figure with a no-nonsense attitude and just the right comfort food for any meal; and Lettie Hempstock, who has been eleven years old for a very, very long time and who insists that the pond behind the farmhouse is actually an ocean. The trouble starts when a lodger kills himself on the edge of their farm, letting into the world a thing that quickly upsets the balance. The language is ethereal, but also concrete in the way something narrated by a seven year old would be. I liked it, but more as something unique than as a genre I'd like to read more of.

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