The Ocean At The End Of The Lane Book Review

Book Review by Dinh

4.5 stars






The story is set in Sussex, England. An older man returns to his childhood home town for a funeral. He goes down to a lane and he remembers when he was 7 years old and how he meet his friend Lettie Hempstock and how she protected and saved him from a strange monster.

Lettie Hempstock was a friend that protected him no matter what.



You will be in for a nice treat with this book. I have not read any of Neil Gaiman’s books and reading The Ocean at the End of The Lane was a lovely surprise.

I just love it when I find new authors (to me anyway) that just are unbelievably good.

British author Gaiman has written over 20 books and has received lots of literary honors including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards and Newbery and Carnegie medals.

I am excited to go and discover some of his other works and know that this is one author that I will definitely enjoy.

The Ocean at the end of the lane__1471407738_65.96.191.144


So what did I enjoy about this novel?

The Writing:

It’s an enchanting tale that sucked me right in from the beginning and made me turn page after page without stopping. It’s a short book with only 178 pages and it went too fast.

The book is written well so it was nice to enjoy reading a quality bit of fantasy. I do love it when I get a good fantasy book that is written well.

Too often I am disappointed with sci-fi/fantasy books are written. It’s usually not quality writing.

This is a beautiful written novel.

The Plot:

I love the story line. I was not aware of that it was a sci-fi/fantasy  genre when I picked it up and it was a nice surprise to read it and enjoy it so much.

Gaiman’s story line reminds me a bit of Harry Potter in that the magical world is there if you know how to look. The boy’s world is changed when he meets Lettie who lives at the farm at the end of the lane.

The boy does not seem to be that surprised by  the fantastical things that are happening and much of that is explained by him being 7 years old.

The younger we are the more innocent and therefore tend to accept things because we don’t know any better.

Moreover, the boy lives in books most of the time. Being an avid reader, his acceptance of the bizarre events does not shock him because of his big imagination.

The boy lives in the child like state where anything is possible. The adult world is removed from him.

I like how the story tied together. I was satisfied with the ending and liked that the story remained in my mind long after I finished the book.

The Characters:

I loved the characters Lettie, her mother and her mother’s mother. We don’t exactly know who they are except that they’ve been there for a long time.

Lettie is suppose to be 11ish though we don’t know how long she has been 11. And forget about how old her mother or grandmother is. They’ve been at the Hempstock farm since before Domesday (1086 AD).

The Hempstock are from a vague place that doesn’t have a name attached to it except that it’s far away. Lettie thinks that they came from the old country, her mother saying that the old country sunk and Old Mrs. Hempstock saying that the old country had blown up.

Another interesting character is Ursular Monkton- the housekeep who was a monster or thing that traveled to this world and opened a worm hole in the boy.

On one hand Ms. Monkton was a scary monster but on the other she was there to make people happy by giving them what they want. Was she bad really? Lettie didn’t seem to think so.

I liked the way  how Ursula Monkton was explained by Lettie as a flea. Ursula Monkton was a bothersome flea.

So was there anything I didn’t like?

The only negative thing about the book is that I wanted more info. Some of the information was vague and unclear and I would have liked to have some definite answers.

The ocean is mentioned frequently to symbolize somewhere far away yet we don’t know how far away. Is it another land somewhere, another universe or what?

We know that Ursula Monkton traveled in a wormhole but from where?

I would have liked to have had more definite answers.

My Final Thoughts:

I have to be honest and say that I am impressed with Gaiman’s book.  Having just finished ‘Ocean’ I am now looking into getting another book of his.

The Ocean at The End of The Lane is a superbly written fantasy novel that has a great story line and will get turning the pages. I highly recommend you to read it!

Get the book here or listen to it for free with an Audible trial.

Check out our other reviews!

Have you read this book or any of Neil Gaiman’s books? Which is his best? I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on The Ocean at the End of the Lane!

18 thoughts on “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane Book Review

    1. Hi Melinda!
      I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading American Gods soon.
      I am so happy that I have found another author that I really like.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  1. I have never read anything by Mr. Gaiman, but I know he has achieved quite a large following over the years. Your review makes me want to read it right now. Actually, I have an Audible account (best thing ever!), and I might just go give it a listen instead. I love listening to audible books, I feel they expand my speaking skills and they help occupy my mind when I am performing mundane tasks. Thanks for the review!

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I have not read any of Gaiman’s books before and I am completely impressed. Add me to his following! 🙂

      I have just discovered the magic of audio books too. It has only been this year that I started listening to books. It helps me “read” more and get the most out of my time. I listen when I am cleaning up around the house or playing Words with Friends. It’s great to multitask.

      I hope you enjoy listening to the audio book!

  2. I absolutely love the sound of this novel and have added it to my TBR! I’m really big on novels where they have good characters and are set in enchanting places. I have heard a lot about the author as well but have yet to read any of his books. I’ll probably end up starting with this one as well ^.^

    1. Hi Olivia!
      Thanks for comments.
      Neil Gaiman is a great writer and he writes quality fantasy novels. I hope you enjoy this one. 🙂

      I am new to Gaiman and I am going to explore some of his other works. He’s so talented.

      Talk soon!

  3. I’m so glad you enjoyed Neil Gaiman. I have a few of his books on my TBR list but I just haven’t been able to commit myself to one yet. I think your wonderful review has given me the nudge I’ve needed. Plus, this one has a fantasy element that is right up my alley. Great review!

    1. Hi Lonna!
      Neil Gaiman is very talented and has done other multi-media, such as books, graphic novels, comic books, audio theater and films. He is very talented.
      I looked Gaiman up on Google after I finished reading his novel and found quite a lot of interesting information on him.

      Gaiman’s Coraline novella was made into a motion picture.

      I hope you get to read this and enjoy it. I am going to pick up another one of his- probably American Gods.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Wow! What a diverse and talented man, he is! Thanks for sharing a bit of the author’s bio with me. I can tell he’s found a permanent place on your bookshelf. =)

  4. I actually didn’t know, that websites like yours where books are described in such an exhaustive way exist! In former times the librarian in the shops or libraries read all their books and could tell you what they were about, while today you have to go for title, cover and little more info.
    Thanks for the great idea and the good work!

    1. Hello Heidi!
      It’s funny that you should mention that my review is exhaustive. I know other reviews like the NY Times for example that is much longer and more professional! I am trying to get better at the reviews and how I write. I just love to read but not so great at writing. However, I will give you my personal opinion and be honest about it.

      Haha, I am glad that you liked my review and found it helpful in aiding your decision about what book to choose.

      Thanks for stopping by at Arlene’s Book Club!

  5. Great review, I don’t usually read fiction but this sounds intriguing as it is set in an area near where I used to live. Thanks for the insightful review.

    1. Hi Helen!
      Thank you for the nice compliment.

      The setting is in Sussex, UK but it could be anywhere in the UK. The book is very enjoyable but there’s quite a lot of vagueness. It doesn’t hinder the story though and I enjoyed the plot.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. My heart is all about fiction books, because I love living in creative worlds from other human minds. I’m looking for a great fiction book to read that will not take too long to read since school is coming up soon. Thank you for the book review and I will read in my last remaining days of summer break!

    1. Hi Grace!
      Back to school is different for me as my son will go to school and there’s one less to take care of. I will hopefully have more time to read and enjoy books. 🙂

      I hope you will enjoy Gaiman’s book. I think just from this book alone that he is a good author. He is very talented and not just in writing.

      Thanks for popping by!

  7. I love to lose myself in a good fantasy book. I am one of those people that I don’t read often but when I do, I can read a book in a day. I love to read. I just wish I had more time to do it. This one is going on my list. Thanks for the review.

    1. Hi Wendy!
      Thanks for your comments.

      I understand where you are coming from. With busy lives it’s hard to get time to read and relax.

      I love reading fantasy as well. I love the way the author can take my imagination to places and worlds that are so different and fantastic than the real world.

      I hope you enjoy The Ocean at the End of the Lane because I loved it!

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