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4.5 out of 5 stars399
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 4 July 2014
I have enjoyed the Cazalet Chronicles, finding them gripping and realistic. You may enjoy this series if you like family sagas, social commentary, 20th century history. The characters are extremely well developed and Elizabeth Jane Howard writes insightfully about people, showing a depth of understanding of individual characters of all ages. The children are interstingly observed and the author is able to "put herself in the shoes" of toddlers upt to very old people and those in between. There are no goodies and baddies, just flawed and endearing individuals who respond in their own personal ways to the vagaries of life. Like all good series I wanted it to go on and on
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on 29 November 2013
I re-read all 4 of the previous chronicles recently, having been reminded of them by the Radio 4 serialisation. I was therefore really looking forward to book 5. What a disappointment. I am now on page 300, waiting for something to happen. The characters are wooden, careworn and tired. The children are just repeats of their parents, rather than late 1950's kids - remember, rock and roll was making an appearance and there were HUGE changes afoot. None of that appears in this book. EJH puts a fine sentence together but it's not enough. She does an awful lot of short chapters about each set of characters, rather than melding them into a plot (which is non existent). Put your pen down, Ms Howard. The fire in your belly is no longer there. Well written but faintly boring. One definitely needs to keep referring to the family tree, printed inside the cover as it has become difficult to tell the characters apart....
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on 19 December 2013
I liked this book, ' All Change'- as it is a sequel to 4 other volumes in the quintet. The characters are familiar & believable; I have known them for years, we went through the second world war together, though they are frightfully middleclass, there is something very appealing about the family; trials & tribulations, birth & death, lovers & beloved. A hard back copy difficult for bedtime reading but so enjoyable-the author is aged 88, if she wrote another sequel- I would buy it as I admire her tremendously; she was married to Sir Peter Scott & Kingsley Amiss( not at the same time) therefore' she knows all about families!!! So I love it.
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on 1 December 2013
Having just reread the first 4 books i was anxious for the new one to arrive, i wasnt disappointed immediately enthralled with the characters again. This book seems much sadder and more serious. We see deaths, serious illness, loss of partners, and ultimately the loss of the stability of the Cazalets. Clary was always my favourite character in the earlier books but she seems to have lost her sparkle in this one. Louisa must be the most unlucky character and Edward gets his just desserts. Polly on the other hand goes from strength to strength. Its difficult to write this and not give the story away but i do reccommend it highly.
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on 24 November 2013
Having recently re-read the first four Cazalet Chronicles, prompted by the Radio 4 broadcasts I was delighted to hear of the publication of the fifth and final volume. It was good to find out where all the characters were, what they were doing with their lives and how they were coping with the progress of the post war years. In some ways this is real comfort reading - nothing much happens on the surface, but underneath there are big changes going on. I love the elements of social history - what people wore, what they ate and how they passed their time, the minutiae of everyday life in a time within living memory.
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on 7 May 2014
Thought I wasn't going to enjoy this last Cazalet chronicle having spent the last 2 months reading the first four which I so enjoyed for a second time in 30 years. However I was so wrong and I appreciated the way the author tackled this last book in such a detailed way so the reader would never have realised the length of time between the 4th and 5th book's publication. Must have been difficult to evoke the characters again, such imagination, who had undoubtedly changed throughout their lives but who were described in loving detail enabling the reader to still relate to them in a familiar way.
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on 26 July 2014
I am a very keen "family saga" fan, and have read all five books in this series one immediately after the other. Simply could not put them down. Ms Howard had an amazing ability to take her reader with her wherever she led them, and her deep and very vivid attention to the smallest detail kept one entranced with the lives of her characters and how these lives blended. Her literary genius will be greatly missed.
I intend to read all her other books, in the hope they will prove equally as gripping as The Cazalet Chronicle.
Anne Meecham, Exeter, July 2014
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on 11 September 2014
This is the last book in the Cazalet family saga. Although the books stand alone, it is definitely best to read them in order as the characters and their situations continue to develop across the series. The Cazalets are an upper-middle class family and by this book, set in the 1950s, they have dispersed and have marriages, children and divorces in abundance! The changing economy and social mores are also having an effect on this once tightly-knit family. This saga, however, is made more than a soap opera, by the convincing portrayal of the characters.
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on 9 June 2014
The final volume of the activities of a large and complex family, the characters are drawn with care and deep insight and the book planned so that the reader is not lost in the wealth of detail. The prose style is attractive and varied accoring to the nature of the subject person. Overall, having drawn individual members so theat one believes in them as real people, the family as a unit remains
the central interest. The series and the final book taken together form a significant contribution to the best of fiction in the English language
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on 9 February 2014
l almost didn't want to start this book, knowing it was the last in the series!
Having started book one The Light Years last October, l have really enjoyed
reading about the Cazelet family through the decades. " Casting off" is an appropriate title, as it drew the story to a close, bringing together the all the loose ends. I was a bit disappointed with the Archie/Clary storyline as it seemed out of character for both of them and was a bit annoying, but overall l loved it. Finding it hard to get into another book now!
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