Although I put The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman, on my Goodreads fantasy shelf, it felt so real and so important that I hesitated. The story feels like the kind of myth that form world views.
It’s the story of a boy who loves books and kittens, who is welcomed into a farm a couple miles down the lane from his parents’ home after he and his dad come upon a tragedy on the lane. The three women who live there – a grandmother, a mother, and 11-year-old Lettie (“How many years have you been 11?” the boy asks her soon after meeting her, a wise question) are in some ways the eternal feminine, maiden, mother, and crone — better depicted than in any other book I’ve ever read. That’s partly because they also feel like the trinity, one, and yet not one.
There’s all kinds of wisdom in this short (150 pages) tale, and if you’re like me you won’t be able to put it down. Do not do as I did, and dip into it at 10:30 at night. You’ve been warned.