The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

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A gentle mix of modern life and ancient fairy tale, this book is about memory and childhood, magic and the mundane. Opening on an adult returning to his childhood home after the death of his parents, it soon slips into the half forgotten story of the man as a young boy. Starting with the suicide of a lodger, he is drawn into the world of a girl who lives down the lane, and the mother and grandmother that she lives with. They are clearly not what they seem, and when he ventures with his new friend into an otherworldly place on her farm, he unwittingly brings back something that threatens his life, his family, and his whole town. Something dark and unnatural…

Though it is written as a book for young adults, there’s a lot of thought and philosophy in this storyย that makes it appealing to the adult reader as well. I liked the way it weaved old traditions, fairy tale elements and humour into a contemporary story. It was also very dark sometimes, which was dealt with in a way that wasn’t sugar coated but also not gratuitous. It’s not a long book for an adult, so I read it in an afternoon, but I also had that wonderful feeling of immersion that makes you want to not put a book down and not want it to end.

Read It If: You like thought provoking fantasy, adventure or fairy tales.

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