2015 Longlist

The Ocean at the End of the Lane


2015 Longlist

A major new work from “a writer to make readers rejoice” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)- a moving story of memory, magic, and survival.

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.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for readers of all ages, and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Shirley Jackson Award and the Locus Award for Best Novelette for his story The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains. Originally from England, he now lives in America.

Librarian’s Comments

Out for a drive, the narrator ends up back in his old neighbourhood where he had an adventure that could only be described as supernatural.

This is a novel that takes you by the hand and leads you down a long, dreamy, dark portal, coming out at the end renewed in the faithof good over evil. Gaiman sets up a world not unlike the fascinating one of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle in Time. Through the unnamed protagonist’s journey to reconcile his past surrounding his childhood home, we meet the wondrous Lettie Hempstock who becomes his protector and confidant. This novel is both fantasy and folk tale, enabling it to be read by a wide range of ages and promises to stick with the reader long after the book is closed.



William Morrow and Company


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