It has been a while since I devoured a book at a stretch without thinking about a break. In fact, the thought of taking a break for lunch was an unpleasant one. As I began the book, “The ocean at the end of the lane”, I was expecting a version of fictional autobiography. I am not sure what that means but that is what I have understood from the innumerable interviews and conversations I have heard of Neil Gaiman in regard to this book. This was supposed to be an accidental novel that came into being while tugging at the strings of nostalgia.
I tried hard but by the end of a marathon reading, I cried. It was deep melancholy intertwined with a strange sense of peace but that feeling was so far off it seemed like I floated in a void without a sense of reality. The book wasn’t only tugging but yanking emotions in directions that I didn’t know existed or felt. The roller coaster of emotions ran through fear and peace, joy and sadness, guilt and worry but through every bit ran an underlying sense of belonging.
I will probably go back to the book again if I ever think I have lost my empathetic being. But right now I cannot thank Gaiman enough for such a heart wrenchingly beautiful narrative.