Secondary Character Saturday: Lettie Hempstock, The Ocean at the End of the Lane


If only the "He" had held onto Lettie's hand a little bit more firmly...

If only the “He” had held onto Lettie’s hand a little bit more firmly…

WHO: Lettie Hempstock

FROM: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Cover art for The Ocean at the End of the Lane [Image courtesy NPR]

Cover art for The Ocean at the End of the Lane [Image courtesy NPR]

BY: Neil Gaiman

PUBLISHED: June 18, 2013

PROS: Kind, powerful, brave, compassionate, mysterious, plucky…

CONS: Not quite cautious enough when it comes to flapping burlapy evil creatures

MOST SHINING MOMENT: I wont give away her MOST shining moment. But I will tell you her second to the MOST shining moment… which is when she stands up the big flapping burlapy evily creature and demands that it/she leave the Hempstock farm.

WHY I CHOSE LETTIE: A beautifully written female adolescent heroine… how could I not choose her? Lettie is marvelously kind to the unnamed main character in this book, but she’s never syrupy about it. She protects and cares for him (much better than his family does) and he has the gumption and pluck of many other female teen characters I can think of (*cough* Bella Swan). “The struggle between Lettie’s family and this evil force takes on darkly beautiful, dreamlike proportions.” [NPR.org]

Gaiman has written another wonderful book. This one is catalogued as adult, but it lies somewhere in the dreamy zone between growing up and grown up. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a relatively quick read (compared to American Gods or Anansi Boys and, perhaps because its protagonist is a child, it reminded me of his brilliant and haunting children’s book Coraline. Please add this to your to read book list. It is funny and scary and mysterious and sad and lovely.

For those of you keeping score this is not my first Neil Gaiman Secondary Character. I did SPIDER from Anansi Boys a while back. What can I say? As long as Gaiman keeps writing wonderful drawn characters they are going to keep showing up here.

English writer Neil Gaiman. Taken at the 2007 ...

English writer Neil Gaiman. Taken at the 2007 Scream Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

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