On the surface, the ocean is light and illuminates life just beneath. However, when you dive deeper, the beams of light begin to narrow and you are left amidst the shadows and the creatures that hunt in the uncertainty. The Ocean at the End of the Lane lies just between. You feel as though you are treading between the last rays of light above you, but wanting to know what lies beneath your toes.
The story begins in the light, an artist returns to his hometown for a funeral. He wanders to a farm where his childhood friend Lettie Hempstock lived with her mother, Ginnie, and her grandmother old Mrs. Hempstock. He vaguely remembers the duck pond towards the back of the property and as he approaches it he begins to remember much much more. He is overwhelmed with long forgotten memories of supernatural beings and truths that pre-date the moon hanging in our sky.
No spoilers…. I promise!
One of the many perks of having an account with Audible is that you get free short stories and excerpts from your favorite authors. This week there is a short story from Neil Gaiman from his smoke and mirrors anthology as well as an excerpt from The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
For you regular readers you know the plot from my previous post, and you also know how excited I am. This excerpt is basically a first chapter of the book and gives us an idea of who the narrator is as well as a better feel for the three Hempstock women.
I am totally against spoilers, but if you are unable to get your hands on the excerpt I have made a vague list with a bit about the book, which I would like to call:
Three not so spoiler-y spoilers: Read More…
Once upon a time, a young boy lived down the lane from three ladies; a grandmother, a mother, and an 11 year old daughter. The eleven year old is called Letty Hemstock and she claims that the duck pond in their backyard is an ocean. Her mother remembers crossing the ocean from the old country and the grandmother remembers the really old country that was before the big bang. These women are the only hope our young narrator has to overcome the trouble he is in.
I did not need to check the dust cover to know this was the plot of the newest Neil Gaiman book. Gaiman has a distinct writing style that invites the reader into a world that is full of adventure and memorable characters. His writing style is unique because he can take fantastical elements and integrate them into reality in a plausible way. The Ocean at the End of the Lane feels like it will have a solid adventure and the plot already gives us insight to three interesting women.
Gaiman has said that this was a story he hadn’t even meant to write as a novel. It evolved from a short story to a novella then finally his first adult novel since Anansi Boys. He feels that this is something different than anything he has ever written, and this gave him a bit of anxiety. However, with a little help from some lucky advanced readers he was confident enough to release it and now us mere mortals are counting down till we have the same privilege. Be ready to pick up your copy on June 18th this summer.
“I’m so proud of it and hope you will give it a chance, Thank You.”
– Neil Gaiman