I was very pleasantly surprised with The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman because I had no expectations when I started reading. A beautifully written story, it is both touching and a bit dazzling.
Our narrator returns to his hometown for a funeral and finds himself drawn to one of the farms neighboring his childhood home. Once there, he revisits an old memory of an adventure he had when he was seven years old. The boy is a lonely child and a bit self-deprecating in a sadly humorous way. Because of this, he is very excited to meet the little girl from the neighboring farm, Lettie. Lettie is mature beyond her eleven years and our narrator is instantly stricken by her wisdom and bravery to face danger as an adult might.
Gaiman does a fantastic job of allowing the reader to get inside the head of a child and I really enjoyed it. There is a really interesting divide between adults and children and the boy refers to the grown-ups in his life as though they are a set of different species.
A few of my favorite lines from the book:
“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”
“I lay on the bed and lost myself in stories. I liked that. Books were safer than other people anyway.”
I really recommend The Ocean at the End of the Lane. This is one of those books with lines and ideas that stick with you long after reading it.