The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman was nominated for and won multiple awards in 2013. It is a short fantasy novel and a great read. The story follows a little boy as a fantastical and unsettling event occurs in his life.
“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.” (GoodReads)
Gaiman’s writing is wonderful and the story was really different so I enjoyed this quick read. I liked that the plot moved along quickly and although I was saddened not to have specific closure on one lovely character at the end it was all part of the charm because, quite simply, life isn’t cut and dry and neither are all endings. All of Gaiman’s characters were fabulously fleshy. I’ll definitely be reading more of his novels in the future.