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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIFTH AND FINAL BOOK IN A LANDMARK SERIES.
To gain full enjoyment out of this book you do need to have read the previous four
Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

This volume opens with the death of the Duchy. It is 1956 and with the passing of the
old lady the life of privelege found in the earlier chronicles comes to an end also.

The author does a brilliant job of...
Published 18 months ago by Mrs. C. Swarfield

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fifth book detailing the lives of the Cazalet family...
All Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard for me was a good read which brought me back to the lives of the Cazalet family which I first met in the first book of this wonderful series. If you are a fan of this series or just want an old fashioned look at a family who are there for each other in times of need. For me I felt I enjoyed this book so much more since I read the...
Published 14 months ago by Petra "I love to read"


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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIFTH AND FINAL BOOK IN A LANDMARK SERIES., 6 Oct. 2013
By 
Mrs. C. Swarfield - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: All Change (Cazalet Chronicles) (Hardcover)
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To gain full enjoyment out of this book you do need to have read the previous four
Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

This volume opens with the death of the Duchy. It is 1956 and with the passing of the
old lady the life of privelege found in the earlier chronicles comes to an end also.

The author does a brilliant job of bringing the reader up to speed with past
histories without holding up the continuing story.

In this post-war world, the family finds itself facing the challenges of a changing
world and economic climate, and are dealing with an uncertain future. This is a
new world, where financial securities of the past are jeopardised. Prosperity of
the family buisness can longer be guaranteed, consequently bold decisions have to
be taken concerning the fate of the beautiful country house which was the setting
of so many idyllic summers and Christmases in the past.

E J Howard draws the reader in fully and convincingly, so you feel involved in these characters
lives and care deeply about them. Howard's strength is bringing alive historical
detail and brings into play social, cultural and economic changes and how they impact
on the day to day lives of individuals.

This is a book reflecting on change in all its forms and nostalgic though it is - the
harshness of modern times and events do reflect the life of the author herself who at
the age of ninety has written an engaging and powerful closing chapter of the Cazalet
chronicles - a gem of a book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable as always, but badly edited, 9 Nov. 2013
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The Cazalet novels are modern classics, and I was so looking forward to this slightly unexpected bonus.

In the really important ways I wasn't disappointed. Howard is masterly at representing real life through the prism of fiction, it's high points and dull realities, pleasures and pains.

However (as another reviewer has said) there is the glaring error that it was Hugh's son William's twin who died at birth, not Simon's. Yet more than that, facts presented in the four previous novels have been altered. Simon was not told that his mother Sybil died by his Headmaster; he was brought home from school in time to say goodbye, when she was still conscious, a fact that upset his sister Polly who was only taken in to see her when she wasn't. In CASTING OFF Simon was also a success at University and set to be a doctor, confident and sure of his place in the world. This is not reflected in this book at all.

It makes me wonder how well the current editor actually knew the quartet of previous books. That grouch over, I loved the novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fifth book detailing the lives of the Cazalet family..., 29 Jan. 2014
By 
Petra "I love to read" "book addict!!!" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: All Change (Cazalet Chronicles) (Hardcover)
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All Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard for me was a good read which brought me back to the lives of the Cazalet family which I first met in the first book of this wonderful series. If you are a fan of this series or just want an old fashioned look at a family who are there for each other in times of need. For me I felt I enjoyed this book so much more since I read the series a few years ago and when I received this book I enjoyed it so much I have now revisited the first four books in the series which brought back a lot of lost memories of a very unique but yet close family.
This book is a good read but one I felt just did not hit the excellence of the first four and for that reason I felt a slight disappointment, yes for me I did enjoy having another visit too the Cazalets and it was nice to see the younger generation growing up and somehow learning to live using their own strengths which they gained from being a member of this family.
Maybe the author left it too long before writing another chapter in the lives of the Cazalets but it was something she felt she had to do and I am glad she had it completed before her sad passing. Elizabeth Jane Howard will be missed as an author but her family and friends plus her many readers are blessed with a wonderful legacy she has left us with and that is one thing I am very thankful for.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointments and regrets, 3 Jan. 2014
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I start to write this having just learned of the death of the author, Elizabeth Jane Howard. One of her last interviews, with the Daily Telegraph, includes the telling sentence about the hiatus between Casting Off, the fourth Cazalet novel, and All Change - "absolute hell from a continuity point of view. You keep on having to remember what you called someone's chauffeur 15 years ago. It's quite hard work, that."

And it shows. All Change is a dreary, depressing read. The children lack the charm of the previous generation, and the quasi-incestuous storyline beggars belief (yes, I'm well aware that Edward molested the teenage Louise, but she reacted with revulsion. This particular "relationship" is beyond any kind of credibility). Diana turns into a monster promised in Casting Off. Villy continues as the wronged heroine. Simon turns into another Christopher. One particular death is a real shock which the readers could have been spared. I genuinely wish that Miss Howard, may she rest in peace, had stopped at four volumes and left us devotees with our memories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IN PRAISE OF A FINE NOVEL, 3 Jun. 2014
By 
KOMET (WASHINGTON, DC - U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
“ALL CHANGE” is one of those novels that reveals a rich, colorful, and vivid canvas studded with a variety of interesting, complex, and compelling characters whose lives tug at the heart, bring out ripples of ticklish laughter, and captures the reader’s interest. It is the fifth novel in The Cazalet Chronicles, which are set in Britain and span from the 1930s to the 1950s.

The novel begins with the death, in the late spring of 1956, of 'the Duchy', who, at 89, was the matriarch of the Cazalets. Her daughter, Rachel, was at her side, as ever faithful, steadfast, loving, supportive, and wholly unselfish. Her brothers --- Hugh, Edward, and Rupert (varying in age from mid to late 50s) --- along with their families (many of whom will be familiar to readers of the previous 4 novels in the series) are caught up in a series of challenges and jarring changes in their lives in a world in which they feel woefully ill-equipped to live and thrive. Rachel, too, is faced with difficulties in her relationship with the love of her life, and with the possible loss of all that she has held dear. Elizabeth Jane Howard is a fantastic writer who knows how to make a word, a phrase, or a paragraph resonate with the reader in each chapter (which is named for a specific character or characters and serves to shed a special focus on the person or persons it highlights).

Once the reader becomes immersed in “ALL CHANGE”, he/she won’t want to leave. The lives of the people it relates become real and tangible. Indeed, for all its 592 pages, I fairly raced through this novel, never feeling bored or bogged down by minutae or tiresome details.

The Cazalets are people that I came to deeply care about in the 11 years I’ve known them. And now that I’ve finished reading “ALL CHANGE”, I feel utterly bereft. Elizabeth Jane Howard passed away last January. So, there will be no more Cazalet novels. While this causes me sadness and frustration --- because I would have loved to see many of the younger characters mature and flower in future decades --- I am grateful to have had the pleasure of this gift which Elizabeth Jane Howard has left us as her literary legacy.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another enjoyable read, 8 Oct. 2013
By 
M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: All Change (Cazalet Chronicles) (Hardcover)
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Nine years on from the end of Casting Off: Cazalet Chronicles Book 4, All Change describes family coping with the decline of the Cazalets' wealth in post-war Britain. The children from The Light Years now have children of their own, and the future of Home Place is uncertain after the death of the Duchy. If you haven't read any of the other Cazalet Chronicles, then don't start here: go and read The Light Years: Cazalet Chronicles Book 1 and the rest, or you'll be lost in this enormous family. There are précis of the back story as each character is reintroduced, which will be helpful if it's a while since you've read the previous books, but I still found myself struggling to keep up with the names of the new children (though having the notes on the Cazalets to refer to will help). There was even a moment when I started to wonder if the author herself had forgotten who was who, but that was resolved later on. If you've read the rest, then you'll want to read this final chronicle. It is as enjoyable and fascinating as the others, following the threads of the different characters' lives. There was a moment towards the end that I thought was a little forced, however, and didn't quite fit with the general style of the chronicles. I felt the ending was less satisfactory and left more loose ends than that of Casting Off, but perhaps that's the point: the family's lives will go on, some happily, some less so, and a neat happy ending would probably have felt too contrived.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars final somewhat disappointing novel, 14 May 2014
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This book is rather disappointing. I thoroughly enjoyed the other four in the series but this is of inferior literary quality. It is less well structured and leaves the reader feeling that the author was tired and eager to complete the book. The characterisation is below par in that there is little development that is not cliched. A series of short jerky chapters which presumably is intended to indicate pace simply comes over as superficial. This is furthered by the fact that the more interesting characters have died! Without doubt a book too far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written conclusion to the Cazalet chronicles, 15 May 2014
By 
Purpleheart (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: All Change (Cazalet Chronicles) (Hardcover)
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'Not long now.'
'Duchy, darling!'

The novel starts with placing us at the Duchy's deathbed where she is attended by her devoted daughter, Rachel. The Duchy, matriarch of the Cazalets was ninety years old and so had exceeded the years allotted to her by Mr Houseman by twenty, as had Elizabeth Jane Howard herself at the time of publication. Sadly, she died earlier this year. Or perhaps not sadly as she was a productive writer to the last, and although this novel is not in the same class as the earlier parts of the saga it can still please.

I had been seduced by the beauty of Howard's prose by her earlier novels but it was the Chronicles that bounds me to her skill. This novel is still beautifully written but lacks the narrative drive and sharp insight of the earlier parts of this most enthralling family saga.
One for the fans.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing read, 4 Mar. 2014
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Firstly, let me say that I loved the original four-book Cazalet saga. That's why I bought Book 5 and it's also why I've found it such a disappointment.

The first quarter seemed to re-tell the plot of the earlier novels unnecessarily - I can't imagine anyone who hasn't read the first four books would be interested in Book 5, so why bore the reader by going over the same ground? This links in with another problem I had with the fifth novel: Elizabeth Jane Howard seems to have lost her nerve. The earlier books were models of psychological insight, giving just enough information to convey the story, the characters' feelings, the era and the themes, without over-writing or explaining too much. She would move on from viewpoint to viewpoint with skill, verve and confidence, leaving it to the reader to fill in the gaps. In book 5, however, she seems to no longer do this - she fills in the gaps endlessly and in an often pedestrian manner. She has characters saying something and then feels the need to explain what they meant, as if the reader might not have got it. She loses the lightness of touch of the earlier novels and adds weight without depth.

I found the dialogue too, at times, rather inauthentic and dull, with some characters badly drawn (Teddy's Irish barmaid being a case in point). The children were unconvincing and twee, rather than delightfully comic as in the earlier novels, though I found Georgie more convincing than the others. The older characters generally retained their shape, though sometimes just became dull or else Howard seemed to forget them and they were barely mentioned.

In the earlier books, Howard used repetition of plot-lines in order to explore themes - for instance, the series of young women engaged in romantic liaisons of varying degrees of success with older men, from Edward's creepy molestation of his daughter to the touching romance between Archie and Clary. Many of these relationships revealed the exploitation of youth by unscrupulous older men, highlighting feminist issues perhaps - the number of exploitative men in the novels was extraordinary. However, the repetition by and large worked very well. However, in the fifth book, I felt the romantic plot-lines became repetitive in a boring way, in places almost Mills and Boonish, in others incredibly implausible (Neville and Juliet? Really?). I thought Louise was remarkably forgiving of her father!

There were several places where I almost decided to give up the fifth book but I stuck it out as a tribute to Elizabeth Jane Howard - the first four books are superb, and it is just sad really that she thought it wise to write a fifth so late in the day when her powers were waning. It isn't all bad however. I thought the description of the decline of the firm was masterful, and Rachel and Sid were well-drawn. But in the end it was lightweight, rather than light of touch, and heavy going.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTMENT, 4 May 2014
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I found this novel most unsatisfactory. It seemed as if the ending had be hurriedly finished, so much so, that it left a good many things up in the air. Considering it was suppose to be the very last book in the series one would suppose that the author would tie things up satisfactory but this wasn't done and I found it very disappointing.
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All Change (Cazalet Chronicles)
All Change (Cazalet Chronicles) by Elizabeth Jane Howard (Hardcover - 7 Nov. 2013)
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