Thank goodness for good books! This month's Curious Endeavourance is like a breath of fresh air! While it wasn't a novel that I kept thinking "This is brilliant" as I read each word, the moment I had reached the final period I felt like my whole being had just been rebooted. I was in a strange emotional state, wanting to cry because it beautiful, because it was sad, and because it was over, and yet overcome with a sense of joy, a sense of "I can take this world on!", a sense of purpose, and as I discovered throughout the rest of my day, inspiration. Apparently this was the book I needed to read at this very point in time. Despite my clear emotional connection (See? That which provokes emotion = art!), I had a long debate with myself (and others) as to whether or not I was going to give it 4 or 5 stars. You see, I reserve my 5 stars for books that I can't wait to read again, and I didn't, and still do not yet, feel the necessity to read this again very soon. Yet, thinking on other books that I've enjoyed and given 4's to, I know that The Ocean at the End of the Lane has stuck to me stronger than that. Like the book burrowed its own little worm through my finger-tips and into my heart as I flipped the pages. I finally concluded that it deserved the 5 stars, because even though I don't particularly feel the need to jump right back into its pages, I feel comfort in knowing that it will be there on my bookshelf, just in case I'm ever in need of it again one day, like my own personal shelf-dwelling Hempstocks that I can come crying to when the world stops making sense. This book I recommend, especially on bad day when the evils of your world seem as real to you as fleas, hunger birds, and parents you couldn't possibly trust again... It's not a happy ending, but at least you know that it's okay to not feel grown-up on the inside, at least for today.
Ashley Newell, stupendous noveling sensation whom you've probably never heard of...