Described as "mythical"; "a fairy tale for adults", and "magical", I was not entirely sure how I would like it. When I was much younger (much, much younger) I loved all of the Tolkien books, and enjoyed fantasy stories very much. As an adult, it has not been the type of thing that I have been interested in. This book has come so highly recommended and reviewed however, that I felt compelled to "give it a go". Now that I've finished it - I am still not sure how I feel about it. The writing is lovely - mesmerizing actually, and I found myself frightened by the descriptions of things that were meant to frighten. I also found myself enchanted by the notion of "snipping away" unwanted memories, and by the view of the adult world through the eyes of a seven year old.
As a young teacher in Texas, I worked with small reading groups in an elementary school. One year I gave my third grade group the choice of what book to read next. I was somewhat disappointed that they chose "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". Again - I have not been a fan of fantasy as an adult, even all those years ago. Since I had given them the choice however, and since I had not read the book myself (how foolish to judge a book by its cover!), we began reading it together when we met once a day. It did not take long for me to be caught up in their enthusiasm - the kids loved this book, talked about it, drew pictures of it, brought in Turkish Delight to eat as a snack! I grew to love the story through their eyes, and went on to read the remainder of the chronicles on my own, and then years later with my son. In fact, "The Magician's Nephew", the first in chronological order in the Narnia series, reminds me very much of "The Ocean at the End of the Lane", with its ponds and its "beings and varmits" that enter the world of humans - where they do not belong.
So I think that what I need is for someone that I know (or several) to read this book - I would love to talk with others about it. I want to feel the enthusiasm that I see in nearly every review that I've read. I think that I just don't quite get it through my own eyes. One reviewer's description of the book as "a bit of an odd duck" (a phrase which I often use myself by the way) seems to sum it up pretty well for me. I'd love to hear the thoughts of others who may have read it!