by Kate Saunders
Delacorte Press, 2011. First published in the United Kingdom in 2010. 244 pages.
I didn’t think I’d like this book at first. A spoiled girl is upset because she has to go to boarding school, but it’s a fancy upscale boarding school, “Penrice Hall — Individual Fulfillment in a Homelike Atmosphere.” Her grandmother broke her hip and is coming to live with their family, and her parents need to go to France to close up the house and bring her back.
But on the train to school, Flora falls asleep, has a strange dream, and wakes up in 1935, on her way to a very different boarding school. She’s in the place of a girl whose parents were in India, so the only part she doesn’t have to pretend about is that it’s her first time living away from her parents.
She makes the mistake starting out of trying to explain she’s from the future, and when the girls from her dorm room find out, they don’t react the way everyone else did. In fact, they were experimenting with a book of spells and tried one to “summon a helpful demon from the future.”
But there’s no spell to send her back.
So Flora must figure out how to get along in the past, at a school much stricter than the one her parents picked out for her.
This is an old-fashioned good-hearted school story with the twist of looking at it with the eyes of someone from our time.
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