I read Tam Lin by Pamela Dean for the Once Upon a Time challenge. This is the second of five books that I have said I will read for this challenge. I did not think that it would take me so long to finish this book. I started it at the end of April and got done with it just a few hours ago.
I like the ballad of Tam Lin, I like the idea that a woman is strong enough to defeat the Queen. This was not a good retelling of the story. I know that there are many people who love this version, I did not. Carterhaugh is transformed into a college in the 1970’s. As a book on college life for English majors this a great book. I loved all the references to the classics. I loved the play of ideas and the professors and how learning opens the mind. This however had nothing to do with the Fairy Queen nor the ballad of Tam Lin.
It was not until the last few chapters that the focus turned from college life to the fairy tale I was expecting. Then it was just that, a basic retelling of Tam Lin in a new setting.
There was on character that I had wished the author had written more about. That is the adviser Melinda Wolfe. While I liked Janet and the others who came in and out of her life, Melinda seemed to be a more rounded and interesting character.
This is not a book I would recommend to people who do have not read some of the classics.