Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The book club selection for July is The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  Sadly, I must admit that this is my first Neil Gaiman read.  I have been hearing a lot about Fortunately, the Milk and The Graveyard Book but I haven't gotten to them yet.  After reading this one, I will have to be sure to bump them up my to-read list.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane is about a man who returns to his hometown for a funeral.  As he takes a drive between services to clear his head, he finds himself at the home of a long lost friend, Lettie.  As he sits on a bench overlooking her backyard pond, he recalls the strange events surrounding their short friendship before she moved away.  Lettie called the pond an ocean and at first he can't remember why, but as he lingers he is bombarded by memories of the most unusual things.  

Initially intended as a short story, Gaiman's tale grew until it necessitated a novel of its own.  This is a short book that only took me three days of short reads to finish. I was pulled in to the story and was anxious to discover the truth behind the mysteries.  I do feel slightly dissatisfied with the answers at the end.  I was hoping for more detail, more clarity.  Perhaps the reader is meant to invent her own solutions.  This was a fun book to read and I enjoy a good fairy tale, but I wouldn't call this one you just have to add to your collection.  Check it out at the library, read it and return it.

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