Worst book I've read in awhile. The only reason I finished it was because it was short - less than 200 pages and I though maybe it would wrap up at the end and make some kind of sense to me. It didn't. You've been warned. It's on all the must read lists and has won awards, but it is weird and I can't really even tell you what it is about. Don't do it.
Summary from goodreads (summary makes it sound good...it's a trick!)
Sussex, England. A
middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral.
Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at
the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most
remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He
hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a
pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old
farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past
too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone,
let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed
suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse
on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable
ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly
incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise
beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.
A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows
the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside
and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a
butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.