THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 'BOOK OF THE YEAR'
AN ACCLAIMED WEST END THEATRE PRODUCTION *****
'Neil Gaiman's entire body of work is a feat of elegant sorcery. He writes with such assurance and originality that the reader has no choice but to surrender to a waking dream' ARMISTEAD MAUPIN
'Some books just swallow you up, heart and soul' JOANNE HARRIS
'Summons both the powerlessness and wonder of childhood, and the complicated landscape of memory and forgetting' GUARDIAN
'My favourite response to this book is when people say, 'My childhood was nothing like that - and it was as if I was reading about me' NEIL GAIMAN
This is what he remembers, as he sits by the ocean at the end of the lane:
A dead man on the back seat of the car, and warm milk at the farmhouse.
An ancient little girl, and an old woman who saw the moon being made.
A beautiful housekeeper with a monstrous smile.
And dark forces woken that were best left undisturbed.
They are memories hard to believe, waiting at the edges of things. The recollections of a man who thought he was lost but is now, perhaps, remembering a time when he was saved . . .
WITH STORIES COME POSSIBILITIES.
"Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later... but they are never lost for good" and the most grim of those memories, no matter how faint, can haunt one forever, as they do the anonymous narrator of Gaiman's subtle and splendid modern myth. The protagonist, an artist, returns to his childhood home in the English countryside to recover his memory of events that nearly destroyed him and his family when he was seven. The suicide of a stranger opened the way for a deadly spirit who disguised herself as a housekeeper, won over the boy's sister and mother, seduced his father, and threatened the boy if he told anyone the truth. He had allies a warm and welcoming family of witches at the old farm up the road but defeating this evil demanded a sacrifice he was not prepared for. Gaiman (Anansi Boys) has crafted a fresh story of magic, humanity, loyalty, and memories "waiting at the edges of things," where lost innocence can still be restored as long as someone is willing to bear the cost.
This book is now a top US bestseller and a very great read.
This fable of a young boy discovering the power of the forces of life starts out like one of Gaiman's subtly dark magical children's tales and then lifts with powerful writing and fantastic images into a breath taking tale of old powers in conflict. Through the innocent eyes of a boy, we see murder and meet the three women who live at the end of the lane in a house whose backyard pond is an ocean.
It is indeed a stunning tale and not to be missed.