Listening to this novel reminds you of being a little kid tucked in tight while your favorite grandparent reads you a dark and magical bedtime story.
As the book opens, a man returns to his childhood home after attending a funeral. He walks down the old farm road to a neighboring house he remembers visiting when he was seven. He sits by the pond and thinks of a girl, Lettie, and her grandmother, who lived in the house. He recalls how they used to call the pond an ocean. Sort of odd to call a pond an ocean, but that's part of the mystery.
As more memories surface, Gaiman takes us on quite an adventure through the boy's dreamlike recounting of his remarkable seventh year. It all started when a man killed his cat. Then, that same man committed suicide in his father's stolen vehicle. At the scene of the crime, he meets Lettie Hempstock, who takes him under her wing. Soon even stranger and scarier things start happening to the boy, and it appears that Lettie knows exactly what it is and how to stop it.
This book is pure magic. I am certain everyone who reads it will get something completely different out of it. It examines what it means to be a child versus an adult, and how well we observe (or don't) the world around us. Gaiman is a master storyteller and this wonderful book is a great stand-alone novel that will leave you hungry for more. The audiobook is absolutely fabulous in every way and I highly recommend listening to this versus reading it. Gaiman narrates it himself and WOW he does a phenomenal job! His voice is so soothing and captivating. It is perfect for the story. The book is a super-quick read, compelling and full of beautiful imagery. You will be sad when it ends, but you will absolutely love every minute spent listening to it!
"Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren't."
― Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
I am the adult services materials selector for Worthington Libraries. When I'm not chasing after my two boys, I like to sew, read and collect recipes (but don't be fooled, I never make any of them!).