A Wonderfully Short and Magical Story

Book cover to The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman.

Book cover to The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman.

With only having 178 pages, “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane” by Neil Gaiman is a wonderfully short book. In a few hours, I was able to read 100 pages before going to sleep, and the next day, I finished the book completely in only one hour. At first I was expecting to hate this book. I’m not sure why, but that was my first impression. People always say “never judge a book by it’s cover,” and I wish I hadn’t judged, because this book was truly amazing

It starts off with a middle-aged man returning to his hometown to attend a funeral. While there, he drives around hoping to waste time before going to the wake, and finds himself at his childhood home. He ventures down the lane, and visits the Hempstock farm; suddenly remembering experiences from when he was seven years old, but specifically of a girl named Lettie Hempstock. 

For how short the book actually was, the stories of the middle-aged man in the perspective of his seven-year-old self made me feel as if I were actually there; as if the whole ordeal went on for days. I was completely immersed in the story. I could feel the spring air on my skin, and see the family home as if it were right in front of me. The rich and illustrative descriptions the author used really added to the story, and allowed my imagination to run free. There was an element of mystery and magic in the story, and it made me feel like a little kid again. It made me want to have superpowers and experience what it was like to be magical. There were powerful, independent women in the story, and being a teenage girl in high school, it made me feel powerful and independent too. 

The book is an easy read with a well-written plot that makes the book even more interesting. The vocabulary in the book is sophisticated, but not so sophisticated to where I couldn’t understand what the author was trying to say. 

If I were to rate this book out of five stars, I would give it four and a half stars. If you like reading books that have a whimsical, mysterious, and magical element, I highly recommend “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane.” Even if you are the type of person who doesn’t like to read, this book is short and has a genuinely good plot and message. Although it might not teach you right from wrong, it does teach you to speak up and take responsibility for your actions while you have the chance, keeping you from feeling deep regret somewhere down the road.