JUST FINISHED: The Ocean at the End of the Lane; A Hundred Summers

Author: Neil Gaiman, Beatriz Williams
Genre: Science Fiction, Romantic Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, 2 out of 5 stars

The Ocean at the End of the Lane was like reading a lost Grim tale that had recently been unearthed. Gaiman’s novel had me engulfed, finishing it out in a matter of two days. I really enjoyed the childlike nature of the storytelling and the nostalgic, mystical feel that radiated from the text.

I think one of the reasons I locked into this book so well was a shared understanding of a Peter Pan like theme: never grow up. One of the quotes that stood out to me was, “Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adult step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.” Why is that? Why do we, as we grow older, always follow the laid out the path and choose the obvious? What happened to that rabid curiosity and living in the moment? Did life hurt you too many times that you turn away from anything that may cause you pain again?

Off the big life question soapbox, I think you would enjoy The Ocean at the End of the Lane if you have any kind of large imagination, one that you don’t like to control but just let if run free.

Now we get to A Hundred Summers. This book is without doubt a purebred beach read. I read the first four chapters and decided that this was an A+B love story that would undoubtedly have some strains but end in a happy ending. Guess what? I was right. I skimmed the next couple of chapters, able to pick up on the major plot points and confirm my theory was correct, I read the last page and was done with it. If you’re into the “you hang up first” and “whatever happened to our relationship, we were so young and love” love stories, go for it.


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