“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences. I was a child, which meant that I knew a dozen different ways of getting out of our property and into the lane, ways that would not involve walking down our drive.”
The 14th book I have read this summer is The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I really enjoyed the book Neverwhere by him, and I thought this would be another enjoyable read, especially since I kept seeing it pop up on book vlogs on BookTube by people like JesseTheReader and Katytastic. So I decided to give the book a try.
I began the book liking the way it felt. The slightly detached, child-like narration and the events of the story from the beginning gave me the same sort of feeling I get when I watch certain Miyazaki films, like My Neighbor Totoro. Magical things are happening, but because of the child-like perspective, it all seems rather normal, in a way. In fact, as I was reading, I imagined the story in my mind as a Miyazaki film, and for a while, it was a keenly enjoyable ride.
Then the story took a turn, at least for me.
*From this point on, my review will take on a spiritual tone.*
I began loving this book because it felt like a Miyazaki film. I also began to dislike the book because it felt like a Miyazaki film. Ironic, I know, but let me explain. In my life, I’ve seen a few of these films, and they come in two varieties: light and innocent, and very spiritually heavy. The Ocean at the End of the Lane began like the former and turned into the latter. As I continued reading the book I began to feel my spirit resisting the story. Elements of the magical world were too real, too close to supernatural realities that really do exist and are not good. Eventually, I had to give up on this book altogether because of this fact.
From an objective, story-telling perspective, this story was well written and intriguing. It was creative, and it had a lot of good insights about human nature, but I, personally, could not continue forward with the story because of the spiritual elements.
Did anyone else out there read this book? Any Christians read it? Thoughts? Opinions? Feels? Comment below! Happy Reading!
Love Regina, the Pensive Ponderer