Book Club: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

It's been a while since I read a Neil Gaiman book. Every time, it's like I've forgotten something about the beauty and imagination in his writing. Every time, it's like a precious gift.

(Time to make a choice: if you scroll beyond this photo, you're going to get some spoilers! SPOILERS!)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is partially a fairy tale and partially Much Ado About Nothing. (Not in the comedy sense, or all the weddings, but because all the impact of the story is wiped out at the end and all this stuff happens, but it basically amounts to nothing.)

I almost don't know how to talk about this book.

At the beginning it is one of the saddest things I have ever read. A little boy has to move out of his bedroom into his sister's, because his family needs money and rents his room out to strangers. Nobody shows up to his birthday party. He gets a beautiful kitten who is his best friend, and then one of the tenants runs it over with his car and replaces it with a mean old cat and none of the adults see a problem with this because he still has a cat, doesn't he?

The story isn't about the boy's sad life being made happy again. Many, many more sad and even horrible things happen. He finds a friend who understands him and helps him and ultimately sacrifices herself for him. It's all still very sad.

Then he doesn't remember any of it. Sad in a different way.

There is so much sadness in this book, but it didn't make me sad.

I don't know what else to say (so why even bother writing this post? Good question.) Here are some quotes that I wanted to save as I was reading:

I spent so much time trying to have a picture of Gertie with the book.

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