Author: Peter S. Beagle
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Supernatural
Release Date: October 1st, 1999
Length: 288 pages
Arriving in the English countryside to live with her mother and new stepfather, Jenny has no interest in her new surroundings–until she encounters things on this ancient estate with ties to another world…one darker and older than anything she’s ever experienced. And meets a friend in greater pain than any she has ever known…
Tamsin died more than 300 years ago. As a ghost she has haunted the lonely estate without rest, trapped by a hidden trauma she can’t remember, and a powerful evil even the spirits of the night cannot name.
And before Jenny can help Tamsin find peace, she will have to delve deeper into the dark world of the night than any human has in hundreds of years, and face danger that will change her life forever…
This book is lovely. I’ve never read a Peter S. Beagle before (I’ve *seen* The Last Unicorn- does that count?), but I can see why he’s so beloved. This story is well-written and well-paced. The MC, Jenny, is a nineteen year old girl recounting her years around age thirteen when she moved from New York City to Dorset, UK. Her voice is utterly authentic- self-aware, embarrassed at how she used to be, stubborn about telling the truth regardless, keenly observant and yet still with a sense of wonder. I was with her from the first page to the last, totally engrossed.
There’s also some nice bits of British history in here. The ghost being from the 1600s, not the 1800s (as I expected, at first blush) and the location being Dorset (not a town I’m familiar with), I found the historical bits enlightening, charming, and disturbing. As I’m sure I was meant to.
The plot itself has that lovely fairytale/old world supernatural/paranormal/fantasy thing, where characters and world-building have a sense of danger and mystery and magic. If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, Holly Black, and Laini Taylor you probably understood that last sentence. The long and short of it is: this story is beautiful, and beautifully written. It’s a quick read because it’s so engaging. I highly recommend it for fans of all of the things I’ve mentioned above.