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Tamsin - Peter S. Beagle 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 300 years ago. Jenny is impelled to research Tamsin's tragic history, and to help her tormented spirit find peace.

To me (writing from NYC), I found that the evocation of British country life and folklore was vivid and effective. However, the beginning of the book - the portrayal of Jenny's life here in New York - I found completely unconvincing. I actually had to look up Beagle's stats - he's really American, not British, which is just weird, because I didn't feel like he captured what it's like to live in New York AT ALL. It's hard to put my finger on why, but one example is, upon arrival in London, Jenny's mom points out people wearing saris to her daughter like it's something new and unusual. Umm, it would be very hard to grow up in NYC and never have seen people wearing Indian traditional dress. But that's really just the first few pages.