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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cazalet Chronicle is an absolute must-read.
I can't believe I hadn't read this delightful collection of four books telling the story of the Cazalets. I am nearing the end of the fourth one - " Casting Off" - and am wondering what to do with my reading time when I finish it. I can not recommend it highly enough. It is a fascinating history of a middle class family during the years of the second world war...
Published on 11 Mar. 2013 by Liz Lord

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book - terrible kindle format
This is a great book, and I would wholehearted recommend it. However it has been very badly 'translated' for Kindle. There are words missing, incorrect words, paragraphs running into one another. This happens on the odd occasion with other Kindle books, but the level of mistakes in this ebook is shocking. Bad Amazon
Published on 1 Feb. 2013 by Danni Certain


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cazalet Chronicle is an absolute must-read., 11 Mar. 2013
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I can't believe I hadn't read this delightful collection of four books telling the story of the Cazalets. I am nearing the end of the fourth one - " Casting Off" - and am wondering what to do with my reading time when I finish it. I can not recommend it highly enough. It is a fascinating history of a middle class family during the years of the second world war and the austerity afterwards and the characters really bring that period to life, especially to one who was born during that time..
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book - terrible kindle format, 1 Feb. 2013
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This is a great book, and I would wholehearted recommend it. However it has been very badly 'translated' for Kindle. There are words missing, incorrect words, paragraphs running into one another. This happens on the odd occasion with other Kindle books, but the level of mistakes in this ebook is shocking. Bad Amazon
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82 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read, 5 Nov. 2002
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Monique (Brisbane, Australia) - See all my reviews
Not having been born until 1973, and growing up in another country, I can't say whether Elizabeth Jane Howard's fictitious account of the life and lives of an English family during WWII and beyond is historically accurate or not, but with this much detail, she must be writing either from her own experience or from extensive research. It certainly felt very real to me.
Told from the points of view of different members of this large, extended upper-class family and its household, The Light Years gives an account of English life in the lead up to the second world war. The author gives fine details of the running of the household inside the family's country manor, the social conditions of that time and the political situation as seen through the eyes of young, middle-aged and elderly, male and female, upper, middle and lower classes, providing a fantastic tapestry of life at that time.
All of this detail could have the potential to be dry and boring, but the characters are so beautifully and realistically drawn that the reader can't help but be drawn right inside the novel and feel a part of the family. These characters begin to affect the reader in a way that is rarely seen, and after finishing "The Light Years", I couldn't wait to begin the second instalment, "Marking Time".
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read these books - you will NOT be disappointed!, 30 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Light Years (Cazalet Chronicles) (Paperback)
if you do nothing else this year, buy the four books in the Cazalet Chronicles, they are absolutely fantastic - I deliberately tried to read the fourth and last one slowly because I didnt want it to end, but Jane Howard is such a good writer that I couldnt help myself. I have kept them and will read them again in a year or so, they are set to become "old friends" - definitely not a set that will be passed onto the PDSA shop (sorry PDSA)....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cazalet chronicle part 1, 28 Jan. 2013
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Had heard some bits of this as radio 4 'book of the week', Decided to look it up on Amazon and delighted by really cheap Kindle price. The next volume was also still quite cheap so have downloaded to Kindle, and hopefully library will have time to reserve me the next 2 volumes before I finish reading this one.
I have enjoyed books by Elizabeth Jane Howard in the past, and am surprised that i have missed this set of books. Yes, it's family saga,highly readable, but written with elegance, wit,and three dimensional characters that draw you ( or me, anyway)into their lives.
Already I know that i will be feeling a sense of loss when i have completed the fourth and final volume.

meanwhile, am enjoying the journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmm?!!, 15 Jun. 2014
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The book was recommended by a colleague, who has similar reading tastes and when I read the book description I thought that it was just my thing. However although the book was easy enough to read I kept wondering when the real story would start!. It felt like one very long introduction to all the characters and as for the ending, well what ending the book just stopped!! Had it had been a paper copy I would have suspected that somebody had ripped the pages out! I know there are 2 more books in the Cazalet series but I can't make my mind up if they'll be any better.A bit disappointing
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Light Years, 3 Feb. 2014
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This was a bit dissapointing for me. The story is very light though all the little details about the many children may prove useful for those who go on to read other books of the chronical. Some characters developed well as the story progressed. Zoe was one such character who gradually gained credibility. Of the children Louise held my interest. It would be worth writing out the list of characters for reference before starting to read the book.in order to know who each of the children belonged to.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First of four books in the Cazalet Chronicle, 7 Oct. 2001
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This review is from: The Light Years (Cazalet Chronicles) (Paperback)
I read this book following seeing some of the TV production recently. I found that it 'grabbed' me as soon as I started reading it and proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable read, so much so that I proceeded straight on to the next of the series, "Marking Time".
The book gives an excellent picture of life immediately pre-WWII and is an effective social statement of the state of the 'classes' at that time.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally absorbing, 29 Jun. 2008
By 
Victoriana_Mad "AJS" (Coulsdon, Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Light Years (Cazalet Chronicles) (Paperback)
This is the first book by Elizabeth Jane Howard that I have read and I loved every moment of it. The pace never slackens and I found myself wasting no opportunity to settle down and read some more. Although there are so many characters they are all so well drawn that they do not become confused. They are all likeable people, despite their flaws and foibles. What struck me most was that I actually cared about what happened to each and every one of them. The period details are not laboured but the atmosphere is unmistakeable. Can't wait for the sequel to be delivered to see what happens to the fascinating Cazalets next.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I will re-read and re-read this series, 29 April 2015
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If you haven’t read this book [it is the first in a series of five], you are in for a treat. Elizabeth Jane Howard died last year at the age of 90 and this prompted me to buy ‘The Cazalet Chronicles’. I recently read them on holiday, back-to-back and know I will re-read them many more times.
This is a great family saga, a glimpse of upstairs and downstairs as World War Two threatens the Cazalet family. Over the course of these five books [my reviews of the others will follow soon] we see the changing social geography of England through the prism of this family, the changing lives of the women and servants, wartime privations, the threat to the family timber business as they face up to the reality of fear.
Oh how I gobbled up these novels. This, the first, introduces us to the family: the patriarch William and his wife The Duchy, their three sons – Hugh, Edward and Rupert, and their wives – and daughter Rachel. As a new war threatens, the hidden wounds of the Great War have not healed and there is no appetite for another. The family gathers at the Sussex house, Home Place, which is the hub of the action. It is the summer of 1937: Hitler has annexed Austria and has his eye of Czechoslovakia.
In these tense summer days at Home Place, we meet the family via the children. Louise, daughter of Edward, the second Cazalet son, is thirteen years old and wants to play the best Shakespearean roles, she starts with Hamlet. Her mother Viola, known as Villy, leads the life expected of her, as wife and mother. “She was not unhappy – it was just that she could have been much more.” One by one we are drawn into the lives of the children, their parents, of Duchy and the Brig, all the time knowing what they don’t: that in less than two years, the ‘peace with honour’ declared by Prime Minister Chamberlain is valueless.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/
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The Light Years (Cazalet Chronicles)
The Light Years (Cazalet Chronicles) by Elizabeth Jane Howard (Paperback - 7 Nov. 2013)
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