Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Book Review:

The Ocean at the end of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman:

Neil Gaiman's latest offering is both a fantasy and psychological adventure.

When our narrator meets the three  mysterious Hempstock women (why are they all called Hempstock? Where are the Hempstock men?) who live on the farm at the end of the lane, he is baffled: The women speak as if they can snip and stitch the past, present and future, 'nudge' people's minds to do the things they should have thought of, and most importantly of all; the Hempstock women can banish horrors from the worlds beyond this.

On the farm at the end of the lane, underneath an orange sky on the border between this world and another, the narrator must battle an ancient and evil thing which seems to know him, and his fears, inside and out. All he has for help is an eleven-year old girl named 'Lettie', she is the youngest Hempstock and she claims her duckpond is an Ocean - an Ocean she brought with her from the Old Country.

The Ocean at the End of the Land is an exploration in the reconstruction and creation of myth and mythology, fans of Gaiman's past work will appreciate this well-crafted, simply and beautifully written book of loss, innocence, and the myths and legends we try to protect ourselves from the darkness with.

For those who haven't yet delved into Gaiman's stories, I would highly recommend this as a starter. At it's heart, I found the text peaceful and innocent, while simultaneously tearjerking and nerve-wracking (although I get quite invested in the stories I'm reading). I'd give it somewhere between a 6 or 7/10. It was definitely worth the read, and a great birthday present from my sister :)