The author of the book is Penelope Lively, writer of fiction for both children and adults. She was born in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Penelope spend her early years in Egypt and as twelve-year-old girl, she was sent to a boarding school in England.
Penelope Lively tells in the text that she still remembers that she was sent to a place that was called home, but as far as she was concerned it was not a home at all, it was just a mysterious gray and wet place.
Charles Manders is the main character in the short story and is a very quiet boy, he does not really say anything in the short story and is just generally quiet through it all.
Charles is characterized as a boy with black hair and big ears, here is an example from the text “the child had black hair, flicked down smooth to his head. His ears too large, jutted out”.
Mrs. Manders is very sentencing and snobbish. In the short story, she is judging the headmaster’s wife. Here is an example from the text “she worked over the headmaster’s wife from her shoes to hairstyle
pricing and assessing. Shoes old but expensive”. Mr. Manders is not thinking that much about how Charles feels about the whole situation, he does not really care.