Then all, to Charlotte, seemed like a dream.
Penelope Farmer 1969
I admit, I think I partially love this book because of the Cure song that was inspired by it. Plus, Charlotte is just such a wonderful name!
A really beautiful, haunting story about time and death, a girls boarding school and foggy nights. It's one of those stories that is a simple read but afterwards you can't get it out of your head.
Perhaps we never look at people properly, Charlotte thought. And she remembered looking in a mirror once and trying to draw herself; how, after she had been staring at her features for a little while, they seemed no longer to make her face or any face. They were just a collection of eyes and nose and mouth. Perhaps if you stared at anyone like that, their faces would disintegrate in the same way, till you could not tell whether you knew them or not, especially, of course, if there was no reason for them not to be who they said they were.
And, she thought, uncomfortably, what would happen if people did not recognize you? Would you know who you were yourself? If tomorrow they started to call her Vanessa or Janet or Elizabeth, would she know how to be, how to feel, like Charlotte? Were you some particular person only because people recognized you as that?