26 July 2014

Fairy Tales: A Review of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman

I come from a long line of readers, it is just how this family roles, we read, we read and oh yes of course, we read. Funny enough though we do not expound on our readings, choosing to pile the books up high around our houses, quietly enjoying our self-created book fortresses.  This all came to pass when I found myself a mom with a slight, so slight barely there, emotionally groundbreaking (once again, every so slight) identity crisis.  Not to go into the mom thing because Thank the Maker is not at all about the mom thing and all about what this mom is reading thing but the mom thing is really the catalyst of this entire thing. 

With newborn in tow, and book consumption down to an all-time low I realized that being a mom does not equate just being a mom and started to freak-out on what exactly I was/am/and going to be. Raising a child is not for the faint of heart, and if someone says it's a piece of cake, they are a dirty, dirty liar. That being said, this blog and this post is not about being a mom but in a convoluted way it is. And as with all things Neil Gaiman, his new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is about one thing but really so much more. 

As with Margaret Atwood, I have shockingly discovered quite a few people who are not into Gaiman's writings. The hubby, who should be acknowledged for his awesome foresight of taking the sonny swimming today, giving this mommy time to do some sci-fi geeking (writing) did not find The Ocean at the End of the Lane his thing. I still find this surprising as he cruises the deep corners of the web keeping informed of the latest UFO dramatic occurrence but couldn't stretch his level of disbelief to dip into a fairy tale. Not that I am saying that UFOs are hullabaloo and that buying a generator for the inevitable invasion is a waste of our savings, I am not saying that, I am just saying....you know, I am saying nothing, I like being married.

Whether you consider this a fairy tale or a story about the perceptions of reality, I found it to be an inquisitively magical novel that left me wondering what parts of our memories are accurate or fabrications of what we perceive accuracy to be. A warning, this is a fairy tale with demons, darkness and levels of emotional and physical dangers that accompany the lives of the children within the tale. It is not a romp of a novel, it won't leave you feeling blessed but it will leave you feeling touched with the magic of the unknown. This book delivers, keeping to what Gaiman does best, spinning the mundane into a supernatural package of questions.