On the surface, Neil Gaiman’s latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, is the story of a man who remembers what happened over forty years ago, when he was seven and the opal miner killed himself in his father’s white Mini; how he met Lettie Hempstock, who, although she was just a few years older than him—“How old are you, really?” I asked. “Eleven.” I thought for a bit. Then I asked, “How long have you been eleven for?” She smiled at me.—promised to protect him. Which she did.
But that’s just the surface. Beneath that, like in Lettie’s duck pond in the back of the farm at the end of the lane, there’s so much more. I can’t help but suspect that there are so many layers you just, you know, want to get your nails under and pull at them and peel ’em loose just to see what’s hiding underneath.
- Book read
- Neil Gaiman — The Ocean at the End of the Lane
- First Line
- It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm.