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Charlotte Sometimes [Paperback]

Penelope Farmer
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 9 2002 Red Fox Classics
It is Charlotte's first night at boarding school. But when she wakes up, the girl in the next bed is not the person who was sleeping there the evening before. And the new building outside her window seems to have metamorphosed into a huge, dark cedar tree! Somehow, Charlotte has slipped back forty years.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

On her first morning at boarding school, a girl wakes up to strange new surroundings in this haunting fantasy. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


"An intriguing fantasy."—The Horn Book

"...a book of quite exceptional distinction...the author has built a haunting, convincing story which comes close to being a masterpiece of its kind...not easily forgotten."—Christian Science Monitor

A "haunting fantisy." —Publishers Weekly

"Farmer writes with style. She is vivid in her depiction of place: on almost every page, scattered with colorful figures of speech, we are drawn into the school and the surroundings of the school through sights and sounds and smells and textures...above all we are moved by the depth and poignancy of the relationship between Charlotte and Emily."—Eleanor Cameron

"This year's most haunting fantasy."—The Sunday Times

"Farmer is always gifted in her grasp of possibilities that bring us up short with surprise and delight and satisfaction."—Eleanor Cameron --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlotte Always June 2 2001
By Kali
I actually read this book when I was a young teen and I have to admit I was only reading it because there was nothing else to read in the house and the telly was on the blink. I absolutely loved it from beginning to end. This is a time-travel story with a bit of a twist.
Charlotte Makepeace is a new girl at an old boarding school. On her first night she goes to sleep in her bed and in the morning she wakes up as Clare Moby, a schoolgirl from over forty years ago. Of course Charlotte is confused, even more so when people don't realise that she is not Clare, not even Clare's younger sister Emily. Somehow she struggles through her first day as Clare but to add to her confusion she finds herself back in her own time the following day and no one has missed her! Charlotte soon realises that Clare is taking her place in her time and she is taking Clare's. The two girls muddle through by communicating through Clare's diary, leaving each other notes and messages in order for them to survive in their swap-over worlds.
However it's not long before Clare's younger sister Emily realises that something is wrong and Charlotte is forced to tell her the truth. With Emily as an ally, Charlotte's time in the past is a little easier but there is a dark cloud on the horizon. Clare and Emily are going into lodgings outside the school and the children have worked out that the time travelling that they are experiencing has something to do with the bed they sleep in and the tree outside the window which exists only in Clare's time.
This is an exciting story that moves at a fair pace, even more so when Charlotte is trapped in the past, forced to become a day pupil and temporarily forfeit her real life in the future. Charlotte's identity is soon in question even to herself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book you can read year after year Dec 30 2000
By Natalie
I read this book years ago, but it still stays in the forefront of my mind. Recently its been stronger than ever thanks to a friend of mine who loves The Cure. Charlotte goes back and forth through time. living her life, and someone elses. She's only Charlotte sometimes, as the title dictates. The story is eerie, but fascinating, Charlotte makes friend with her 'sister" who is not her sister, but the sister of the girl whose life she sometimes lives. She has to keep this fact a secret, and the plot gets deeper and deeper. The end of the book shocked me with the emotion I felt, especially the revelations that comes at the end. It's sad, bittersweet and lovely all at once, this is the kind of book I would keep forever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fairy tale for adults Dec 25 1999
this book is wonderful. a mythologization of stubborn bits of reality. charlotte, a very alive child, begins to disassociate from reality when sent away to boarding school. soon she begins to switch places with her saintly doppleganger claire, of a different day and age. virtually no one notices the frequent replacements, which initially lead to major identity issues. eventually, however, charlotte's brief entry into the world of claire, causes her world to take on existential value, and everything becomes meaningful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books i've ever read!!! June 4 1999
alright, like some others here, this book was brought to my attention by robert smith of the cure... and i can't thank him enough!!! this is truly one of the best books i've ever read...charlotte's time travel through her bed in a boarding school is one of the most unique ideas i've seen in literature, and farmer's adding of the shared diary is pure genius... charlotte and every other character in the book were more alive to me than most any character in books i've read... a very emotional book built from a wonderful imagination!!!i couldn't put the book down and have passed it on to numerous friends to read since finishing it (anyone who is looking for a copy, i got mine from truprice books: don't know that they've got another copy lying around, but it's worth a try!)read this book!!! you will not be sorry you did!
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5.0 out of 5 stars what a great book! April 11 1999
By A Customer
I am a cure fan as well as a few others *i can tell* that have written reviews. it has taken me almost a year to find this book. I still want to buy it though. i am borrowing from a San Fransisco Library. but anywho, this book was great. it began to scare me as i was finishing it last night though. just some advice: dont read it in a dark room at 3:00 in the morning.ooh, gives you the shivers. just FIND THIS BOOK AND READ IT! it was so good. it almost made me cry! *i guess books move me alot eh?* -=*Rebecca*=-
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