The story focuses around a woman named Sarah and the people in her life she has surrounded herself with, including a strange character – The Tamsind House. The Tamsind House (may be misspelled) is where she lives with her uncle and an assortment of characters who have found themselves there. It is communal and any traveler is welcome. The house is magical and seems to provide what you need, whether you have consciously asked for it or not, and it is ever-changing.
Sarah works at an antique store that her family owns despite a lack of need. She is wealthy. Through her work she find some items, “treasures in the rough,” that seem to not make sense how they got there and have magical qualities. These items transport her and her self-made family into an alternative universe where native american and celtic magics exist. Sarah’s family, some wizards who follow “The Way,” and a government agency are all trying to find an individual, magic, and items that will determine if good prevails over evil.
This is fantasy and coming of age combined. It definitely has a 70’s feel to it with communal living and government investigation of the paranormal. It deals with the effects of the entrance of caucasian people on Native American land and cultures in De Lint’s alternate universe.
I love DeLint. I have really enjoyed The Onion Girl and Widdershins. This book did not feel as strong as some others of his. The characters were not as developed, however, I feel you can still attach to them. There, however, is a lot going on and at times it felt certain story lines were not as flushed out as they could have been. They felt briefly touched on. When I finished I was left wanting.
Regarding the narration, I found myself missing Kate Reading, the narrator who has done several other DeLint books. It’s not that Paul Michael Garcia is bad, but I felt his interpretation of the characters did not help DeLint’s less than perfect character development.
The concept of the book is interesting and I liked it, but I don’t think I would listen to it a second time.