Full of allegories and myths and imaginings that are weaved into what a 7 year old boy’s mind can handle. This book is layers upon layers.
It is too early for me to write about plot and meanings within meanings, as many have not read it yet. I’m sure in weeks to come many will talk of the meanings in the imaginations. This one is deep. As deep as the Ocean at the End of the Lane, which on the surface can look like a pond.
Two of my favourite passages:
I shook my head. “I’ll bet you don’t actually even look like that,” I said. “Not really.”
Lettie shrugged. “Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”
I said, “Are you a monster? Like Ursual Monkton?”
Lettie threw a pebble into the pond. “I don’t think so,” she said. “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.
…a couple of paragraphs later
“Oh, monsters are scared,” said Lettie. That’s why they’re monsters. And as for grown-ups…” She stopped talking, rubbed her freckled nose with a finger. Then, “I’m going to tell you something important. 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. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.” She thought for a moment. Then she smiled. “Except for Granny, of course.”
and page 146:
“Do you still know everything, all the time?”
She shook her head. She didn’t smile. She said, “Be boring, knowing everything. You have to give all that stuff up if you’re going to muck about here.”
“So you use to know everything?”
She wrinkled her nose. “Everybody did. I told you. It’s nothing special, knowing how things work. And you really do have to give it all up if you want to play.”
To play what ?”
“This, she said. She waved at the house and the sky and the impossible full moon and the skeins and shawls and clusters of bright stars.”
Sigh. Only like Gaiman can write.