Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (2014)
A man visits his childhood home after many years away. His old house is gone but the farm at the end of the road is still there along with its pond. He remembers an eleven year old girl named Lettie Hempstock who lived there, and who had claimed that the pond behind her house was an ocean. He met her when he was seven years old and had since forgotten how they met and what happened when a sinister woman named Ursula Monkton came to look after him and his sister while their parents were away. Everything he has forgotten starts to come back to him.
I listened to the audio this time (read by the author) and really loved the narration. I ended up listening to it twice. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
“Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.”
“Nothing’s ever the same,” she said. “Be it a second later or a hundred years. It’s always churning and roiling. And people change as much as oceans.”
“I saw the world I had walked since my birth and I understood how fragile it was, that the reality was a thin layer of icing on a great dark birthday cake writhing with grubs and nightmares and hunger.”
“Peas baffled me. I could not understand why grown-ups would take things that tasted so good raw, and then put them in tins, and make them revolting.”