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Literature / Tamsin

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Tamsin is a 1999 fantasy novel by Peter S. Beagle. It won a Mythopoeic Award in 2000 for adult literature.

Jenny Gluckstein moves with her mother to a 300-year-old farm in Dorset, England, where she meets and befriends Tamsin Willoughby, the ghost of the original farm's owner's daughter.


This novel contains examples of:

  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Jenny calls her parents Norris and Sally. When her mother remarries she calls her new step-dad Evan.
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  • Cats Are Magic: Mister Cat is the one who finds the ghosts in the first place, and leads Jenny to them.
  • Follow the White Rabbit: Mister Cat leads Jenny to the secret room where they find the ghosts of Tamsin and Miss Sophia Brown.
  • Formally Named Pet: A cat simply named Mister Cat, and another named Miss Sophia Brown.
  • Ghost Amnesia: Tamsin appears to others as she remembers herself. Sometimes she remembers herself very well, right down to her crooked teeth; other times she has gaping holes in her body because she can barely remember anything. The driving force of the plot is finding out what the so-called Other One had to do with her death — which Tamsin herself has forgotten because she was so terrified of him.
  • Hanging Judge: Judge Jeffreys.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Judge Jeffreys.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different
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  • Spell My Name with a "The": The Billy Blind. Not a Billy Blind, but The Billy Blind.
  • The Wild Hunt: Appears, and the question of what — or who — it is hunting is key to the plot.

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