(book cover links to Goodreads)

Keywords: paranormal, cultural (Old English), mild horror


Two lonely souls on opposite sides of life and death…

Arriving in the magnificent countryside of Dorset, England, to live with her mother and new stepfather, the young and very American Jenny Gluckstein has little interest in her historic surroundings, including that of the 700 acre Stourhead Farm her stepfather is restoring. Then she meets Tamsin, a kindred spirit that has haunted the lonely estate for 300 years, trapped by a hidden trauma she can’t remember, and by a powerful evil even the spirits of night cannot name. To help her, Jenny must delve deeper into the dark world than any human has in centuries, and face a danger that will change her life forever.

Part of me is sad I’ve finally started reading other Peter S. Beagle titles aside from The Last Unicorn because each of his narratives offers a real, immersive, and moving experience. But I know that I wouldn’t have appreciated the subtleties and mastery in Tamsin had I read it at half my current age.

True to the tone of other Beagle novels Tamsin keeps with that atmosphere of otherworldly melancholy which hides a warming and fragile beauty inside.

I’m not usually one for 1st person narratives, but everything flows so seamlessly here. Along with the old English haunted farm houses (which I lived in for some years) the characters and folklore blend together with history to submerge you into every page.

If there are any negatives they are minimal. The backstory was a bit long, but not drawn out. And the flat out “something is coming, but I can’t tell you yet” in lieu of foreshadowing would probably irk some. However, for the style it was perfect (for me).

Tamsin is a definite favorite I recommend to all first time Beagle readers.


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