This is the story of a middle-aged man who returns to his boyhood home while attending a funeral nearby. Once he drives down to the end of the road, he begins to remember the fantastical events that took place when he was seven years old, and how the family who lived there came to his aid.
Confession: Other than Good Omens
, I haven't really been able to get into Gaiman's work. This one puts him firmly in my good graces. I loved it--it's a slim novel, but it doesn't need to be any longer. It reads like the wind, but there are layers upon layers. Such a lovely story.
I wasn't at my strongest, emotion-wise, when I read this. As a result, I bawled my head off at several points in the story (even when things weren't necessarily sad). It's just that the writing was so beautiful and truthful in places. Examples:
"That's the trouble with living things. Don't last very long. Kittens one day, old cats the next. And then just memories. And the memories fade and blend and smudge together..."
"Oh, monsters are scared," said Lettie. "That's why they're monsters."
And I want so much to believe in the idea of a family like the Hempstocks. Read the book to find out why.