Monday, August 17, 2015

Read All About It: The Ocean at the End of the Lane {+ Giveaway!}

Linking up for the Dreams, etc. Book Club discussion

I found this book to be very creepy! I didn't really know much about it going in, so the storyline really surprised me.  

The Summary:
"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."
What I Liked:
I really enjoyed that a majority of the book was told from the narrator's point of view from when he was just 7 years old. I think there's a certain magic that childhood holds for us - memories are more vivid, things just stick with you.

I also really enjoyed the interaction the narrator had with Lettie Hempstock, his 11-year-old friend and her mother and her grandmother. They just seem like women who are so wise, even young Lettie, and know so much about the world.

They were kind of like the guardians of the "good" world and did their best to keep bad things out and keep people safe.

I also really liked some of the imagery in the book. You can just picture what the woods look like when the boy is running through, or you can picture what Lettie's house looks like (even as it changes).

What I Didn't Like:
The "darkness" that is unleashed - while incredibly creepy - just didn't quite make sense to me. I don't think there was enough of a back story or explanation as to where the darkness came from. It was just sort of there and accepted as part of the story. I'm not someone who needs every little thing explained but I feel like we didn't get ANY explanation, so that bothered me.

Also, the imagery of the fabric as part of the darkness really creeped me out. We tend to think of monsters and creepy crawlies when we think of stories about things that go bump in the night. But the piles of rags and fabric... it just gave it this really sinister tone. I don't know, I can't explain it, if you read it, let me know what you think. :)

Favorite Quotes:
  • "Books were safer than other people anyway."
  • "I was not happy as a child, although from time to time I was content. I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else."
  • "Adults follow paths. Children explore."

My Rating:
3 out of 5 stars. 

Have you read it? What did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Also, I'm joining my beautiful friends, Stephanie and Erica, for a really cool giveaway with prizes that are perfect for that photographer in your life. Mug, lens cap, phoneography starter kit... I know you won't be disappointed! Enter below. Good luck!  

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