A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively.

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Always, since she was quite small, Maria had been extremely confused between what she had imagined and what was real, so much so that she had learned to keep quiet about a good many things in case they turned out… to be part of the imaginings… Perhaps this is why she doesn’t tell anyone about the mysterious noises she hears in the old, rented holiday house, the shrill barking of an invisible dog, the non-existent swing which creaks in the garden. But then she discovers a sampler, stitched by a girl who lived in the house over a hundred years ago, and Maria finds herself increasingly drawn into the life of the Victorian girl as past and present merge in a dramatic climax.


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