Tam Lin

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Tue Dec 21 18:35:24 EST 1999

On Mon, 20 Dec 1999 17:23:21 -0500, Nat Case wrote:

>Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary. I got about 1/3 of the way in, and haven't
>picked it up again for a couple months. She has a very peculiar (to my
>taste) style of plotting, where incidents sort of build up in the
>background, so that the denouement is in a way less satisfying than the
>exploration of the world of the characters. She loves writing about smart
>people (which is why Tam Lin worked so well, I think). There is a kind of
>hothouse quality to her intellectual characters; Dean really shows what it's
>like to live inside a mind like that, full of quotes and obscure metaphor.
>Instead of making allowances for those of us who _weren't_ English Lit
>majors (as, by comparison, DWJ does), she writes for people who were born to
>be English Lit majors, with no apology. 

Except that not even all English Lit majors can quote like Dean's characters
do (read: Melissa certainly doesn't).  Actually, this is probably the one
thing that annoys me about her books; I keep wondering if she really pulled
all these quotes out of her head or if she kept a copy of Bartlett's on her
desk, or something.  That and the fact that at one point the friends all
recognize a "misquotation" of that famous line from Dante and in unison
"correct" it.  Please.  As if "lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate"
hasn't been translated in at least three different ways.  And no, I did not
pull that one out of my head.  I got one of my copies of _Inferno_ off the
shelf and looked it up.  So there.

>So in a way her books are character
>studies more than plot-driven fantasies. And I generally like and recognize
>those characters. It's scary how many of my best friends are like that... 

This is what I like most about her books--the people, the situations they
get into.  I had a hard time enjoying the Secret Country series, but I still
remember the characters.  Wish I'd bought those when I had a chance.

Melissa Proffitt
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