First I have to say that Neil Gaiman is in my top ten author list. I have read just about everything he was written, including the Sandman series. Coraline was an exceptional, scary children's book that gave Grandma nightmares. Neverwhere was possibly the first urban fantasy and dark, dark, dark. Stardust, on the other hand is a fun adult fairy tale, American Gods, for me, painted the culture clash that exists between a world explained by mythology and a world ruled by technology. All that said, The Ocean at the End of the Lane takes us on an adventure that begins with a middle aged man wondering the countryside of his childhood and remembering a special friend. His initial memories are the sort you would expect but as he rests on an old bench another reality floods his mind as he remembers what really happened the summer he was seven. The summer he met Lettie. Since this is Neil Gaiman, there is magic of a universal nature. There are characters of supreme goodness and evil. There is sacrifice and redemption. Most of all, there is the seven year old boy, hiding inside the grown up or as Lettie says, "Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they are doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world."