Publisher: William Morrow Books
Release Date: June 18th, 2013
Genres: Adult, Coming of Age, Fantasy, Fiction, General, Literary
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.
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.
“Words save our lives, sometimes.”
How do you review, or even rate, a book like THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE?
First, I have to make a confession: I didn’t get this story at first. I was looking too hard at it; I wanted explanations and answers and a logical conclusion but THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE gives you none of those things and that is the beauty of it. Once you let that go (kind of like how the narrator lets his own adult mindset go in order to stroll down memory lane) you can truly enjoy the story.
The more I thought about this one upon finishing it, the greater it became. I realized how vivid the descriptions were and how everything came to life due to the writing. I realized just how incredibly meaningful the story really was, especially between the lines.
OCEAN reminded me a of THE NIGHT CIRCUS, not in plot but in the magic of the storytelling and writing and overall meaning. If you disliked these aspects in THE NIGHT CIRCUS, I might be a little wary to recommend this one to you.
There were some issues with the characters, I never totally connected to them or felt sympathetic to their cause. Most of the characters, including the narrator, felt one-dimensional and just kind of in the way. The Hempstock ladies were pretty cool though, if only for the mystery surrounding them.
I would tell anyone to at least give this one a chance, it’s less than two hundred pages yet tells more story than a book twice its size.