By: Neil Gaiman
Location: FIC GAI
“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.”
I love recalling my childhood, on a farm, at the end of the road. The lifestyle, the people, the Early's across the river from us, the Fosters down the road, with 5 daughters whose names all ended with...ine. There was Christine, Noeline, Pauline, Josephine, dieseline and gasoline- so we joked.
The taste of turnips eaten straight from the soil, the smell of freshly cut hay, the emotion of bleating sheep who have lost their
lambs, the stillness of walking across the paddocks with the Southern Alps infiltrating your soul- deep memories.
I can see why people get lost in the memories of childhood- especially a childhood spent on a farm.
A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home on a farm 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 a stirring and terrifying, fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.