"Charlotte Sometimes is a beautiful and evocatively written middle reader book about a young girl at boarding school in the 1950s who switches bodies (continuously - every other day) with another girl at the same school during WWI. I think the book is more widely read in the UK than here (The Cure based a song on it), which I think is a shame. The writing is lovely, and though completely appropriate for middle readers, has enough going on to be interesting to adults. The time travel elements are worked out well, and not over explained. The questions raised are ones of identity - as Charlotte becomes Clare she starts to feel as if her identity is suddenly malleable, not fixed. She begins to question what makes Charlotte, Charlotte - common questions for a girl on the verge of adolescence, and the plot forces them to the forefront. The historical aspects are interesting and subtle. I'm really glad I read it, and I think if I had read it when I was 10 or 11 it may have wound up being one of my favorites.
I will fully admit that I didn't discover this book in the traditional way.
I have to admit to being a HUGE fan of the Cure. Yup. That's 80's quasi-gothy band, lead by Robert Smith. What can I say, I've always liked boys in makeup.
One of my favorite songs by the Cure was always Charlotte Sometimes. I didn't have a clue that the song title was taken from a book, and that lines from the book were used in the song, as well as in the song The Empty World (She talked about the armies, that marched inside her head).
I had just graduated from high school, and was working at a Girl Scout summer camp in Vermont. They had a large building with a stage that had the back wall covered in bookshelves. It was a rainy day so the councilors were letting the kids run amok in the building. Me, being bored to tears by the rain and driven crazy by the kids running amok decided to check out the bookshelves.
The title Charlotte Sometimes caught my eye and grabbed the book to read in my tent later.
Once I read the book, and fell in love with it, I had to get my own copy so I could share it with all of my Cure loving friends.
It's still one of my favorite books, and it still puts me in the mood to listen to the Cure.