Hello, everyone! Happy Monday! It’s time to discuss our book club book for July! If you missed it last week, I announced the book that was chosen for August, so go check it out if you’re interested!
Let’s talk about The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman!
SPOILER ALERT! There will likely be spoilers for this book in my review, as well as in the comments section and any links that are shared in this post.
I feel like I did this book a disservice, because I wasn’t able to sit down and just read it. I had time to read a few pages and then I had to put it down and that’s how it went as I read this book. That being said, I do have some thoughts.
I loved the narrator and connected with him immediately. I loved that his narration was so open and honest. I felt like he was giving the reader a peak into some of his secret memories, because they’re memories that I think would be hard to share.
I liked that we were reading about the narrator as an adult remembering things from his childhood, because I thought it gave a unique perspective of adult vs. childhood perception of events. For instance, when he saw his dad and the nanny having an affair, he interjects saying that if he had seen that later in life, he would have had a very different reaction to it, but as a seven-year-old, he didn’t really understand what it was that he saw. But even though he didn’t know exactly what was happening, I loved that he knew that what he saw was bad for his family, because his dad was breaking the “unit” that his parents had always been. Kids are so perceptive and are not always given the credit they deserve for being able to interpret a situation, so I liked that this book did that. Even though he didn’t know exactly what was taking place in that room, he knew that it wasn’t good.
I thought the pacing of this novel was great! It didn’t drag, but it didn’t go too quickly.
My one complaint about the novel is that there wasn’t enough of an explanation in it regarding the fantastical elements. I didn’t need to have everything explained in great detail, but I wanted something that would make it all seem a bit more real. Things just happened. However, maybe that was part of the narration from the perspective of a child.
Overall, I’m not sure how I felt about this book. It held my attention when I was reading in spurts here and there and it took me on an adventure, but it also left me a bit more confused about the story than I wanted to be.
But like I said, I read in spurts here and there. If I had been able to devote my full attention to the book, I may not have ended it with so many questions.
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PS – Check our book club discussion for The Husband’s Secret!