Once in awhile you encounter a book that is so good you don’t even know what to say about it. This is one of those books.
The book starts off simply enough- a middle-aged man revisits the places of his childhood after attending a funeral. The story then goes back in time as the man revisits events in his past. That’s when the magic begins.
The reader is introduced to the Hempstock Family – a group of loving and magical women who have lived at the end of the lane for generations. One can not help but fall in love with the Hempstock’s, especially Lettie (the youngest Hempstock). The reader is also introduced to some less likable characters – Ursula Monkton being the prime example.
The setting of this book is fantastic, evoking in the reader a childlike sense of endless spaces and adventure. The ocean at the end of the lane is an absolutely fantastic idea – while still a pond it manages to be so much more (but I won’t give anything away).
This book is a quick read. At only 178 pages or so, it’s easy to finish in a night (and trust me, you won’t be able to put it down).
Bottom Line: I would give this book 10/10 stars. This story manages to invoke a strong sense of nostalgia for the magic of childhood while still retaining the qualities that make up a good adult novel. This is truly the best Neil Gaiman story I have ever read.