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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  2,042 ratings  ·  166 reviews

Arriving in the English countryside to live with her mother and new stepfather, Jenny has no interest in her surroundings, until she meets Tamsin. Since her death over 300 years ago, Tamsin has haunted the lonely estate without rest, trapped by a hidden trauma she can't remember, and a powerful evil even the spirits of night cannot name. To help her, Jenny must delve deepe

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Firebird
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The story is beautifully written and told from the perspective of a 13-year-old girl who moves with her parents from Manhattan to a sprawling farm house in England.

The house is haunted and inhabited by a ghost named Tamsin, who died more than 300 years ago. Jenny learns a lot about Tamsin and about the period of time she lived in. The story contains interesting historical snippets about the Bloody Assizes of 1685, the brutal and merciless Chief Justice Jeffries of Wem, the Monmouth Rebellion ag...more
After hearing so many allusions to this book on livejournal's book communities, I decided to give this book a try and I wasn't disappointed. I expected to be annoyed at Jenny, but her voice drew me in and wouldn't let go. She goes through all the confusion and sulking a teenager pulled away from home goes through, but she acknowledges in her narrative that her behavior embarrassed her. Her semi-denial of her respect for Evan was realistic, as expected of teenagers, as is her gradual respect and...more
Sometimes I forget about Peter Beagle, because I don't actually read that much fantasy. He wrote, of course, the fantasy classic "The Last Unicorn," which is a completely lovely book. But Tamsin is genius. It's written from the point of view of a 13 year old girl from New York, Jenny, who has to move to Dorset when her mother remarries. The old farmhouse turns out to be haunted by the gentle ghost of young Tamsin, who died During the Monmouth Rebellion. (Captain Blood readers take note: wicked J...more
Lis Carey
I remember being an adolescent girl. That seems normal enough, because I was one for several years. It's a bit scarier that Peter Beagle seems to remember being an adolescent girl.

Jenny Gluckstein is thirteen years old, and living with her divorced mother, a music teacher in New York, and visiting regularly with her father, an opera singer. She's a bit of a misfit at school, which most adolescents are, but she has two friends she spends a lot of time with, and she has a cat, Mister Cat.

And then...more
I love, love, love this book. It's a ghost story about Jenny, an American teenager who is transplanted to an old manor in Dorset, England, when her mother remarries. The first-person point-of-view is an interesting switch for Beagle, who writes mostly in the third person, but it's very successful and just as beautifully written as his other books; he gets Jenny's voice just right without losing his usual lyricism. Along with ghosts, there are a myriad of other folklorish creatures, including an...more
"My Jenny, I will never see your own land, yet well I know night's as dark there as in Dorset. And night is not ours, and never will be, not till all is night. I tell you it will not, Jenny -- never any more than the sea, for all we plow and harrow up that darkness. What yet swims in the deepest deep, I'm sure none can say -- and not even the Pooka knows all that may move beyond the light. But you have friends there now -- do but remember that, and you'll come to no harm. You have friends in the...more
J. Aleksandr Wootton
I first knew Peter S. Beagle when I was eight or nine years old, as the writer of an excellent little essay, or introduction, to The Lord of the Rings called Tolkien's Magic Ring, and he is probably to blame for my habit of actually reading forewords, prologues, and introductions. Many are rough, but occasionally you find a diamond like Peter's.

Peter is, I think, one of the most under-recognized writers of our day. He writes books that change you; his craft is excellent. So far I've found in eac...more
Hm. I wonder if this book influenced Robin McKinley's Dragonhaven at all. For at least the first hundred pages, the writing is so full of "teen posturing language" (forgive me, teens--I couldn't think of a better way to say it), that it's nearly unbearable. No, I take that back. It is unbearable. I skimmed and skipped, hoping that the book would actually become readable. After all, I had read Peter Beagle before and I didn't remember him being so awful.

When the title character finally enters th...more
Not sure when I first got hold of this book, but finally started reading it. If you've read Beagle's "The Last Unicorn" then you'll have an understanding of the way he writes. Not only are places and people vivid, but so are their feelings. This book is vintage Peter Beagle.

The story is about a teenage girl who ends up moving with her mother and new step-family to an old farm in Dorset. As the stepfather struggles to make the farm a profitable home, the girl, Jenny, discovers that the place is h...more
Bumping in to 5 stars, because a book that can be read over and over again without loosing its glory is a special one indeed. the last read even gave me a creep that I didn't have before.

I'm re-reading because I was watching Victorian farm from BBC and seeing them plowing the field reminded me of the stepfather who wanted to revive the soil in this Dorset farm.


It's getting better on re-reading. For one thing I can't believe I hadn't noticed so many other interesting character. I m...more
The plot was interesting but the characters! Oh my lord, the characters. I guess I am one of those annoying people who need likable characters to fully appreciate the book, and that is where this book failed me big time. I realize how long this is, so here is my summary: I hated EVERYONE except Meena, Julian, and Mister Cat. And I guess Tony but he was superfluous. Also, when did teens start calling smoking pot "getting lifted"?

I will now elaborate on the top three annoying characters in descend...more
Cathy Douglas
The ghosts in this story work about the same way they do in Beagle's A Fine and Private Place, but otherwise the two books are quite a bit different. The first person teen narrative and Dorset setting don't have the panache of a loner living in an NYC graveyard, but I came away liking the narrator fine, and reviving an old farmstead kept the adults in Jenny's life busy and out of the way.

It's the supernatural life she turns up that holds the most interest, of course. The ghost story is tragic an...more
Once again, Peter Beagle does it. This book was really, really good, full of rich, likeable, imperfect characters and believable world-building (even if the world in which the novel takes place is very close to our own modern one). And like Innkeeper's Song or The Last Unicorn, there's a sense of history, of continuity, of other stories, instruiging and barely hinted at, hovering on the edge of the tale we're travelling in. This is the first book of Beagle's that I've read in which he uses the f...more
With a contemporary setting and a ghost story as the foundation of the story, this is closer to A Fine and Private Place rather than The Last Unicorn or The Inkeeper's Song. Being told in the first person by a thirteen years old girl (Jennnifer - it comes from Guinevere, but she prefers Jenny) , the success of the book will rely heavily on your initial reaction to the storyteller.
I was conquered and enchanted from the very first pages. I still remember what it meansto be 13, shy but bloody mind...more
Utterly heartbreaking beautiful; but then, I expected no less from the author of The Last Unicorn, which is maybe the most utterly heartbreaking beautiful book I know. In some ways Mr. Beagle seems to have been sharing notes on folklore with Susan Cooper (the encounter with the boggart; the profound English sense of place, with deep roots in local history and in the land; the Wild Hunt hounding poor condemned souls through the stormy sky). Which is not to say it seemed derivative (and I'm not su...more
Amanda Kespohl
If you happened to read my fangirl gushing about the wit, humor, and beauty of The Last Unicorn, then you're well aware that I'm a fan of Peter S. Beagle's writing. And given that my current"to read" list on Goodreads is pretty much everything he's ever written, it shouldn't surprise anyone that I've already found my way to another Beagle work. This time, it was Tamsin that thrilled me to the depths of my writerly soul, but in new and unexpected ways.

Any illusions I had that this book would be...more
El Templo de las Mil Puertas
Jenny es feliz viviendo en Nueva York. Al menos tan feliz como puede serlo una adolescente problemática y con padres divorciados. Vamos, que se las apaña para sobrevivir. No es guapa, no es alta y tampoco es divertida. Sólo tiene dos amigos y un gato llamado Señor Gato. Pero su vida da un vuelco radical cuando su madre le anuncia que van a mudarse a la campiña inglesa a vivir en una enorme mansión con su nuevo novio y con los dos hijos de este. Jenny, obviamente, se niega en rotundo, pero poco p...more
Jenn Dattilo Watts
4.5 stars for Tamsin. This one took me a bit to get into, but once the plot moved across the water I was hooked. Absolutely loved the relationship between Jenny & Mister Cat. The mythological creatures you get to meet in this novel are wonderful and sometimes terrible and utterly enthralling.

Tamsin herself and Miss Sophia Brown are very engaging and the interactions between the two girls and the two cats were just gorgeous. Judge Jeffreys is a villain who is a real historical figure and he...more
Sep 21, 2007 Res rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sff
The one where teenaged Jenny is dragged against her will to live on a farm in Dorset, where she meets a ghost and finds a quest.

This gets off to a very slow start, and if it had been anyone but Peter Beagle, I certainly wouldn't have slogged through 45 pages of Jenny in New York whining. But once they get to England, things take off quickly, and the rest of the book is mostly as good as I could wish for -- though of course it's a pale light compared to The Last Unicorn.
I loved the protagonist "voice." It's one of the best uses of the memoir, telling a story after it's already happened, style I've read. I particularly liked how honest and self-aware it was. For example, there's lots of 19 year old Jenny (the protagonist) flinching and being embarrassed/ashamed at the behavior of her 13-15 year old self (the age she is when the events of the story take place). It really felt authentic and very, very relatable. One thing I wasn't expecting and was so pleased by,...more
A wonderful, funny, enchanting, poignant story! A young American teenager moves with her mother and stepfather to England and to a farm in Dorset haunted by a ghost who can't quite remember why she is still there.

Beagle presents ghost-hood in a way that is believable and original.

A tale of a 300-year old love story, of obsession and cruelty, of growing from child to mature adult.
After moving to rural England, teenaged Jenny Gluckstein has her hands full with new stepbrothers, old ghosts, and one constant cat.

Tamsin never reaches the delirious genius of Beagle's The Last Unicorn or The Innkeeper's Song, which is not to say it isn't a very fine book in its own right. Ghosts and mythical deus ex machina figure heavily in the plodding plot, but they're beside the point. The real appeal of the book is watching a rebellious NYC teenager come to love her stepfamily (intense T...more
Where do I begin? Perhaps I shall start by stating how enraptured I was with this story. Or how enamoured I was with its characters. Maybe how the scenery and atmosphere would chill me to the bone, or leave me feeling as much a part of the land as if it were right outside my own window. But all this fails to do the tale justice.

This has got to be one of the most solid and complete fantasy stories that I have read.........well ever. Beagle left nothing unsaid or undone. His deliverance of the su...more
Renee Hauge
Gorgeous - beautifully written with superior character development. How this middle-aged male author successfully channeled the voice of a thirteen year old girl is a mystery. Well done.
Oct 12, 2008 Angela rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: 16 and up
Recommended to Angela by: good reads site
Beautiful, interesting and worth reading/hearing. Only one caveat: lots and lots of bad language. Recommended for young adult and older.
Loved it. A great coming of age story, a wonderful ghost story, just a lovely read and very satisfying.
Noelle Franklyn
Tamsin is a wonderful story from a seasoned author. Peter Beagle was 60 years old when this was published, and he'd been writing and publishing fiction for 40+ years by that point. Award-winning writing. Now, for many authors of that caliber, picking up one of their novels feels like a slog of an assignment. It's got to be stuffy and boring and important, or something, or no one would've taken them seriously for so long. But Tamsin is not that. Beagle's writing is superb. The man knows his way a...more
I really thought this book depicted an awkward teenager well. It's an interesting ghost story full of creatures from folklore like the pookah. It's also the story of a teenager looking back at herself during a time of extreme changes and not liking what she sees.

I suppose that might be the part of the first person narrative I didn't like so much - Jenny is VERY apologetic. I am okay with that, but she gets repetitive. Maybe she could just tell it like it was a bit more and do all of her apologi...more
I really, really liked this book. I don’t know if I love it yet, though. It still needs to sink in.

It’s a simple story: Jenny, a girl from New York, and her mother go to live with her mother’s new husband and his family in a run-down Dorset manor. Jenny reacts to this in the way most 13 year olds would, but begins to warm to her new home as she makes new friends, supernatural or otherwise. At the heart of the book is her friendship with Tamsin, a 300 year old ghost still haunting the property fo...more
Althea Ann
A nice YA ghost story.

I have to admit, however, that this book didn't quite live up to my expectations (set high, recently, by 'The Inkeeper's Song' and a couple of Beagle's short stories.

A rebellious teenager, Jenny, is reluctantly transplanted from NYC to the English countryside. She's got a new stepfamily to deal with, and a deal of culture shock - but she's quickly distracted by the fact that the crumbling old manor house she's stuck in is haunted. The ghost is Tamsin, a young woman who died...more
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Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American fantasist and author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place , when he was only 19 years old. Today he is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time, and at least two of...more
More about Peter S. Beagle...
The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1) A Fine and Private Place The Innkeeper's Song Two Hearts (The Last Unicorn, #1.5) The Folk of the Air

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“He really would have done all that for her, you see, and done it believing he'd burn in hell forever for doing it. He hadn't done it, and wouldn't had made her his anyway, but you see why he'd have figured it did. Or maybe I saw it anyway, at the time. He was a maniac and a monster, but people don't love like that anymore. Or maybe it's only the maniacs and monsters who do. I don't know. ” 34 likes
“You don't have to believe in Hell. All you need is to hear someone who really does, who believes in it this minute, today, the way people believe in 1685 — all you have to do is see his face, his voice when he says the word... and than you know that anyone who can imagine Hell has the power to make it real for other people.” 26 likes
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