After reading Quince by David Rees I decided to re-read In the Tent to refresh my memory. I first read the book over 20 years ago and thought it was wonderful.
To a degree it still holds up but now I've a bit more to now compare it to. The story of a young confused catholic gay boy who goes camping & hiking with three presumedly straight friends including the blond godlet that he's crushing on still makes for an interesting story. The idea that these four get stranded by a storm for a number of days just adds to the tension.
The unexpected development involving Ray is as magic as ever.
However the older and wiser reader in me now questions why the flashback 1646 story was entangled with the 1970's modern camping story. Yes, Tim is a history scholar and he pictures himself back at the time of the siege but the two stories don't seem to organically grow together. They constantly jarred me the reader. Also the few scenes set post 1970's were a bit jarring as well.
Overall I liked the story and the author can tell a good tale but the construction could have used some more thought. If I were to re-rate the book today I'd give it only three stars.