Penelope Farmer was born in Kent, England, in 1939, the younger of twin girls. She was educated at private schools and Oxford University. Apart from brief spells of teaching and a variety of odd jobs she has spent most of her working life writing for children and adults. Charlotte Sometimes is her best-known book, and inspired the song of the same name by the rock group the Cure. She has two children and three grandchildren, and with her partner, a former academic biologist, divides her time between London and the Canary Islands.
"[Charlotte Sometimes] has all the pleasures of a good time-travel yarn...Adolescence is all about forging an identity, and this novel speaks to those questions of 'who am I?' and 'how do other people see me?' in an abstract, haunting way...For those of you with middle-grade children, I recommend Charlotte Sometimes wholeheartedly, and for those of you who may have read it as a child, I recommend returning to it, if only because rereading is one of the only forms of time travel available to us." --Hannah Gersen, The Millions
"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
"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