Ashley Newell's Reviews > The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
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it was amazing
bookshelves: book-club, fantasy, literary-fiction

This is a beautiful poetic narrative that captures the world of a seven-year-old boy living in a big world, even though his house is in a small community filled with farm land and meadows, experiencing the harsh reality of "it's not fair" from having a sister, the cruel pang of a father's shouting that stings worse than beatings, and the safe house of the Old Grandmother who always knows how to make things better even when it seems like the world could never be a happy place again. The child's acceptance of a magical realm where good is ever-powerful, and where evil beings hit right at the core of you, ripping you from your family, digging into your heart, and tears at you with that inescapable sensation that "Yes, it is all your fault!", and yet, how the magic and the horrors of childhood get hazy, how they fade and you re-understand things from the adult world as you grow-up, not that it makes your adult memories any more true.

It is an inspiring tale, and the wonderful thing about Neil Gaiman is that when he is the most immersed in the realm of fantasy, he is at the heart of it, bringing to his audience that which is most real, not just frightening magical monsters and garden-grown cats, but what it means to be faced with the ups and downs of our journey through life. There were a number of wonderful moments, but if there is one thought that I know I will carry with me until the end of my days, it is this: There are no real grown-ups, not on the inside. Amazing how this little novel-that-was-not-supposed-to-be about a seven-year-old boy in rural England who faces monsters from another world has made my world that much clearer to me. Thank you, Mr. Gaiman. This was indeed a happy accident!

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Reading Progress

September 8, 2013 – Started Reading
September 8, 2013 – Shelved
September 8, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
September 8, 2013 – Shelved as: book-club
September 21, 2013 – Shelved as: fantasy
September 21, 2013 – Shelved as: literary-fiction
September 21, 2013 – Finished Reading

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