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Ginnie Hempstocks

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane-neil-gaiman-book-cover Neil Gaiman shows off his legendary imagination in The Ocean at the End of the Lane. A work colleague lent me The Ocean at the End of the Lane and I’m so glad that he did.

The story starts with an old man, sitting on a bench looking at a pond at the farm at the end of the lane. He remembers his childhood.

He remembers when he was just seven years old. Seven years old when he saw the body of the dead opal miner in the back of his father’s car.

Seven years old when he met the Hempstocks’. Lettie Hempstocks, the girl that looks eleven years old, who speaks the first and most ancient language of the world. Lettie knows so much about everything and who he suspects is really, much older than she looks. Ginnie Hempstocks is the mother who cooks the most amazing food the boy has ever tasted and at one point in the story takes him into her bosom.

And finally Old Mrs. Hempstocks the woman so old that she remembers the moon being made, always has a full moon shinning on the back of the farmhouse at night and is full of wisdom, knowing how to solve the problems that the other two Hempstocks’ don’t know how to solve. (Madian. Mother. Crone. She what Gaiman did there?)

After the death of the opal miner, a malevolent spirit enters the seven year old boy’s life. This spirit appears as Ursula Monkton, a lodger who will pay her way by looking after the boy and his older sister. But Ursula means no good for the boy, quickly manipulating the boy’s parents and threatening to keep him in the attic. That is until she is done with him, at which point, Ursula will tell the boy’s father to kill him. The boy believes his father will listen to Ursula and do as she says, rather than listen him because he is only a child.

So the boy goes to the Hempstocks’ for help. What follows is a magical, frightening, exciting, heart racing and wonderful story told from the perspective of the seven year old boy remembering in his old age.

The description is vivid and allows the reader to imagine every scene perfectly. There are some scenes in this book that should go down in descriptive history for being so simple with very few words, but yet so effective and powerful. The plot is fantastic and full of twists and turns. It is completely captivating and makes The Ocean at the End of the Lane almost impossible to put down. Gaiman put a lot of what he remembers about his own childhood into the story. The ending is inventive, almost spiritual/god-like at one point and wholly satisfying to the reader.

Overall The Ocean at the End of the Lane is magnificent, even if it is a little difficult to describe just how magnificent it is.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is available to buy on Amazon and at all good bookshops.

Review soon,



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