Friday, February 18, 2011

Charlotte Sometimes

by Penelope Farmer,
William and Charlotte Rayner, 1992
(first published in 1969 by Chatto and Windus)

The setting opens in late 1940s England. 12-year-old Charlotte Makepeace has been sent to boarding school, where nothing is familiar and she knows no one. Even so, when Charlotte wakes up that first morning, she is sure that there hadn't been a cedar tree outside the bedroom window, though there is one there now. And the girls in her room aren't the same girls who laid down in the beds next to her the night before.

Charlotte soon discovers that, by some mystery, she has exchanged places with a girl named Clare, who spent time in the same school in 1918, near the end of World War I. Charlotte and Clare continue to switch back and forth until one day they become stuck in the wrong time period. Will Charlotte ever be Charlotte again? Will she ever make it back to her own generation? And what will happen if she doesn't? Get hold of the book to find out the answers to these questions.

A great read. Originally intended for children, the book can easily be enjoyed by teens and adults alike, especially if they don't mind an "older" style of writing. Just one caveat - there's a seance scene that could be disturbing to some readers.

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