I cried. I knew I was going to cry when reading the book. I probably read a review or comment from someone, saying it would make me cry. I didn’t realize how much I would cry. I still tearing now thinking about it.
You might think this a bad thing but it wasn’t. I don’t think I have ever had a book that reached into my heart so much. There were so many points where I identified so personally that I started to cry.
I wish I still had my voraciousness for reading that I had as a child. I identified with the protagonist in this book for that love. Maybe because I was an only child or just because I am me– my friends were books rather than people. I eventually got friends but it often took a while. Books were always there for me. There was some dirty pleasure of reading a book by the light of the hallway. Or sneaking my red plastic flashlight with the white switch under the covers to read books.
I would check out huge stacks of books from the library read them all and repeat the process. Going to the library to just read and spend the day was one of my favorite activities.
The first time I got into serious trouble as a child is when I didn’t walk home directly from the bus. My mom had gotten home early that day and was waiting for me to never arrive. I had gone to the library to read books instead of coming straight home.
I have always been sociable and relatively likable but predominately quiet and pensive. I often get startled when walking by people entering into my train of thought. I have been writing this post for a week before I could fully release it to you.
When I read a book such as this that grabs me to my core, it evokes three actions:
1. Push it onto everyone I know- I will lend copies (yes I will often buy an extra copy for lending). Or I will just buy a copy for someone.
2. Read more- I will read more books and more voraciously.
3. Write- It will spiral me into writing. I have the need to express myself to not copy but strive to achieve the bar set before me by what I have read.
This is why I love good fiction. I am a sucker for the sugar candy fiction too but a really good piece of literature is really a proverbial meal.
I devoured this novella in one sitting. And then I wanted to immediately read it again but real life needed me back. I didn’t want to go back. I wanted to stay in this world that was scary and beautiful and comforting all at once.
I loved that it was a child with child emotions experiencing this world of fantasy. I love children in fantasy books. They just accept these fantasies because as a child every day has the potential to change your world. You find out about the Easter Bunny and now all the stories your parents told you are now suspect. Every day your immediate freedoms could be limited or expanded with groundings, allowances, bed times, etc.
The Ocean at The End of the Lane is compacted and filled with these delicious sentences that fill your soul. There are many seemingly plain sentences that change your whole world view. Just like a child. It strikes the nostalgic cord and the whimsical/fantastical cord at once producing this brilliant emotional sound.
I will read it again probably before the summer is over. I need to read it again. It beckons me every time I see it on my bookshelf.