by Neil Gaiman
This is a prime example of what is known as Magical Realism, a story set in the ordinary world that wanders into some magical situations. It's an enchanting story about a man who visits his childhood home and the house of a girl who lived at the end of the lane, Lettie, who became his friend during a difficult time in his life.
The story has a genuine feel to it, as if the author is writing of his own personal experience, yet some of the things that happen challenge believability and bring up the question of how much childhood imagination might color our memories of early years. Gaiman has suggested in interviews that he drew on his own childhood experiences for some of the events in the book, though the reader wonders where childhood imagination leaves off and actual strange occurrences might have actually happened.
The narrative has a dreamy, poetic quality to it at times that suits the story very well. I'm inclined to think it's the best thing Gaiman has ever written, though I haven't read all of his books. Lettie shows the boy alternate realities in a way that feels very real and her family comes over as party to these magical experiences as well.
This is an easy 5 star read and a re-read for me.