While Neil Gaiman's storytelling is always very beautifully done, I was a mildly disappointed with Ocean at the End of the Lane. I read in the epilogue that the book was originally poised to be a short story and it actually shows.
The story is about a 40-something man returning to his boyhood home in Sussex, England for a funeral. He cannot remember the last time he returned, but does not seem at all surprised to find himself at a pond at the end of the lane. There he remembers things both fantastic and frightening from the year he turned seven. The pond is on the Hempstock farm, and the Hempstock’s themselves are not what they seem and during that summer the youngest, Lettie, leads him on an adventure that revealed how very fragile the world we perceive actually is.
The story touches on a wide variety of things such as a difficult childhood, parental abuse & neglect and ultimately facing one’s demons.
After finishing I am still not entirely sure of my feelings on this book. Some parts seemed as deep as the ocean with other as shallow as a muddy puddle but overall this was an enchanting story, just not my favourite Neil Gaiman.