The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

How did I get it?:
I bought it at Mr B’s Emporium!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Graveyard Book


Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home 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.


I don’t know how I’m even going to begin to review The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, so I’m just typing and hoping that somewhere along the line my thoughts begin to make some sort of sense. This book is totally unique and unlike anything I’ve read before. It doesn’t take long to read, but don’t expect to fully understand what’s going on at all times. It’s completely strange, but I think I enjoyed it.

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane centres around a forty year old man who has just been to a funeral. He is meant to be going to his sister’s house, but instead finds himself driving to his childhood home in Sussex. He arrives at the end of the lane. It is there that he begins to have a flashback to his seven year old self who was bookish and unpopular. The boy remembers his family’s money problems which meant them taking on a lodger. He also recalls magical forces and his interactions with Lettie who helps him deal with a magical creature who doesn’t belong!

I hope my description somewhat gives an idea of what the book is about. I was carried along with the story. It was so well written. I found it incredibly easy to read despite being utterly confused at times. I can totally see why it would appeal to adults more than children. It seemed to me, to be a book about an adult’s reflection on childhood. There were some very thought provoking moments. I am looking forward to eventually exploring more of Neil Gaiman’s work!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderfully unique story!

9 thoughts on “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

  1. I think that’s how I felt too. It’s very well-written, but not a children’s story. It’s too melancholy and more about memory and reflecting on lost childhood than about being a child. I’m looking forward to reading more Gaiman too – perhaps something where it’s easier to understand what’s going on!

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