Marquise's Reviews > The Mirk and Midnight Hour

The Mirk and Midnight Hour by Jane Nickerson
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As a historical novel set during the second year of the US Civil War, this would have got a higher rating because its plotline isn't so bad, but as a retelling of Tam Lin it simply doesn't work. And it's unfortunate, because anyone familiar with the ballad would probably scramble to get this book owing to the uniqueness of the setting only to find out it's not up to expectations.

There's not really much to say about the causes other than it's essentially the poor execution of the "retelling" part that felt artificially forced into a mainstream war story that draws more from Gone with the Wind than from Tam Lin, specifically how the relationship between Violet Dancey (our "Janet" character) and Lieutenant Thomas Lynd (our "Tam Lin" character) is depicted. To give you an idea, Thomas appears at last in Chapter 15, which in a novel of only 23 chapters is a no-no. No eleventh hour ambush-like "romance" is going to be believable. I do think the Voodoo would've worked just fine as a substitute for the Faerie in the original, and the slavery-related uncomfortable bits do work given the divisive context, but then when the novel tries to suddenly become a retelling after being the story of a Confederate's daily life for over half the book, it flops.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 20, 2019 – Shelved
March 20, 2019 – Finished Reading

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