Warm-up

I started this book because after reading The Graveyard Book, I was curious to read more Neil Gaiman. This one, however, is for adults.

About the Book

After many years, the narrator comes back to his childhood home in Sussex for a funeral. During his visit, he finds himself at the end of a street in front of a pond. This is where he remembers weird and perhaps magical things that happened to him as a boy.

Lettie Hempstock lived (lives?) on the farm next to this pond, but she’s the one who calls it an ocean. She lives on this farm with her mom and Gran who seem to have magical powers. Or at least the power to keep a particular boy safe from monsters.

The main monster in this story goes by Ursula Monkton. She shows up to take care of the young boy and his sister while his mother and father are at work. But she’s less of a caregiver and more of a problem causer.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Notes

  • It’s a short book (just less than 200 pages) with just enough description to satisfy my vivid imagination. But not too much too lose me in the language.
  • There are moments when it you can feel the boy’s heart is being ripped out of his chest. These moments made me want him to stay a little boy forever.
  • It felt full of contradictions… dark with moments of brightness. fear with familiarity, nighmare-ish but strangely comforting at the same time. Like a gloomy and gray version of Alice in Wonderland.
  • I’m still trying to sort out what happened in this little book, and I admit I’m confused about what happened. I’m not sure if I read a fairy tale or an older man’s memories from when he was a young boy.
  • This book was another one that kept me reading outside of my comfort zone.

Favorite Quotes (Neil Gaiman)

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

“I went away in my head, into a book. That was where I went whenever real life was too hard or too inflexible.”

“Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.”

“Growing up, I took so many cues from books. They taught me most of what I knew about what people did, about how to behave. They were my teachers and my advisers.”

“Adults follow paths. Children explore.”

“I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.”

Started: 3.07.2020
Finished: 3.09.2020