Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer

book blurb

It’s natural to feel a little out of place when you’re the new girl, but when Charlotte Makepeace wakes up after her first night at boarding school, she’s baffled: everyone thinks she’s a girl called Clare Mobley, and even more shockingly, it seems she has traveled forty years back in time to 1918. In the months to follow, Charlotte wakes alternately in her own time and in Clare’s. And instead of having only one new set of rules to learn, she also has to contend with the unprecedented strangeness of being an entirely new person in an era she knows nothing about. Her teachers think she’s slow, the other girls find her odd, and, as she spends more and more time in 1918, Charlotte starts to wonder if she remembers how to be Charlotte at all. If she doesn’t figure out some way to get back to the world she knows before the end of the term, she might never have another chance.

lexi’s review

This surreal coming-of-age novel is very imaginative, as a 1950s girl finds herself transported to 1918 and has to navigate a completely different way of life. Ms. Farmer creates a strongly descriptive setting, especially of the garden that serves as a mental oasis between the two time periods 

I had a hard time relating to Charlotte on an emotional level, although her feelings of displacement and anxiety are very relevant in a post-covid world. While Charlotte is thirteen years old, the novel may be more appropriate for a high school level reader, as it has a dark, moody vibe. 

Because I struggled to relate to the main character, and because some of the spiritual elements were not quite my vibe, I give this book three stars. 

Originally posted on alibrarymama

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