I was handed this book and told it would be a great book to read on the train. Then I started it the night before and read half of it before I even stepped foot on the train. Doesn’t matter though because I was enchanted and intrigued from page 1. I haven’t read a lot of Neil Gaiman (which I totally need to rectify), but what I have read is always just a bit off in a good way. He has a talent for writing the strange and unusual and weird and making the reader want more. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is no different. Do I really know what happened in this story? Not really. Do I care? Definitely not.
The story is basically about a man who comes home for a funeral and starts remembering an incident from his childhood. When he was 7 he met Lettie Hempstock (an older woman at age 11) and her mother and grandmother. It begins with a lodger who kills his cat (accidentally) and then commits suicide in the family car. Lettie and her family are from the old country (which sank) or the really old country (which might have blown up). They are of indeterminate age or they could be ageless. They are the virgin, mother and crone of stories and they take care of their piece of land. Afterall, they brought it with them to this world and occasionally things sneak through. One such being tries to take over the boy’s family and it is up to the Hempstock ladies to help him get rid of it.
This is a book full of magic and horror and intrigue. Not all your questions will be answered but that is part of the charm. You are left guessing about a lot of things. I loved it and am going to make it a point to read more Gaiman.