The protagonist, an artist, returns to his childhood home in the English countryside to recover his memory of events that nearly destroyed him and his family when he was seven. The suicide of a stranger opened the way for a deadly spirit who disguised herself as a housekeeper.... Gaiman has crafted a fresh story of magic, humanity, loyalty, and memories “waiting at the edges of things,” where lost innocence can still be restored as long as someone is willing to bear the cost.
(Starred review.) Gaiman mines mythological typology--the three-fold goddess, the water of life (the pond, actually an ocean)—and his own childhood milieu to build the cosmology and theater of a story he tells more gracefully than any he’s told since Stardust...[a] lovely yarn.
(Starred review.) From one of the great masters of modern speculative fiction: Gaiman's first novel for adults since Anansi Boys (2005). An unnamed protagonist and narrator returns to his Sussex roots to attend a funeral.... Memories begin to flow.... Forty years ago...a South African opal miner, gambled his fortune away, then committed suicide in the Hempstock farmyard. Something dark, deadly and far distant heard his dying lament and swooped closer.... [I]t reappears as his family's new housekeeper, the demonic Ursula Monkton.... Poignant and heartbreaking, eloquent and frightening, impeccably rendered, it's a fable that reminds us how our lives are shaped by childhood experiences, what we gain from them and the price we pay.
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