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on 21 February 2013
I couldn't wait to read this volume of the Cazelet Chronicles and was not disappointed in the story and characters at all. However, the typing errors are appalling and sometimes I couldn't even work out what the typo word was meant to be. This really isn't good enough, especially when the Kindle books are as expensive as the paper ones. Sometimes it looks as if someone is typing the book in their second language which might be the reason for the wierd spellings and indecipherable words.
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on 1 December 2013
I am completely hooked on the Cazalet saga, of which this is the second book in the series. In 'Marking time' the focus shifts from the adults in the family to the older children all on the cusp of becoming adults, trying to make sense of their lives while the war (WW2) begins to slowly affect everyone's lives, I am still only half way through but am loving every second of it. Apart from the wonderful characters what resonates with me most is the simplicity of life for people at that time. Clothes were worn until they fell apart, anything that could be darned and mended was repaired until it was too far gone. When new clothes were bought people went to one good shop (Peter Jones for example) and bought what they needed - generally something that would last them for years. Food was managed economically and left-overs re-hashed until they were used up. A far cry from our excessive shopping habits and throwaway society today. However, none of this is idealised in Elizabeth Jane Howard's writing. Brought up during the period she writes about there is a strong sense or authenticity that can only be created by someone who has lived during this time. Once I have finished 'Marking time' I will be buying the third book in the series immediately. Haven't been so captivated by a saga since 'Poldark'!
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on 8 February 2013
I did like this book but the frequent typo's in the text really disrupted my enjoyment. This seems to be a common feature of e-books, and of this series in particular. Why are they not proof-read before being retailed???? Surely this fundamnetal level of quality is what we are paying for. I would be very interested in a hearing your reply before taking this complaint further.
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on 12 April 2001
Marking Time follows the Cazalet family into the early years of the Second World War. The children are getting older and developing into strong characters. Louise achieves her ambition of going on stage and, separately, meets her future husband and Polly worries about everyone except herself, focussing particularly on her parents and on Louise's cousin Christopher. But it is with Clary where your sympathies lie as she steadfastly refuses to believe that her beloved father Rupert is dead, despite being missing in action for some time, inventing elaborate stories to explain his whereabouts.
The children are Marking Time, waiting to become adults when their lives will really begin. Clary is Marking Time waiting for her father to return, as she knows he will, and the whole Cazalet family are Marking Time, in those strange early war years when no-one knows how long it will last and when their lives will return to some sort of normality. The characters are beautifully drawn and their stories carry you with them, so that by the time you get to the end, I guarantee you will, as I did, go straight out to get Confusion, the next volume in the Cazalet Chronicle, to follow their lives further.
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on 7 July 2014
Marking Time is the second in the Cazalet series; continuing on a year later from The Light Years, the year is now 1939 and Britain is officially at war. Yet in many ways, especially for the women and children life continues in much the same way as before, albeit more restricted, time stretching on. This second book follows the younger generation, in particular Louise, Polly and Clary in more depth. Louise embarks upon a career in acting and also starts receiving her first attentions from gentlemen. Polly and Clary meanwhile remain in the more closeted environment of Home Place, each facing their own particular struggles; Polly with her mother falling ill and Clary with her father reported missing in war.

This second book continues on very much in the same vein as the first, Howard transporting you back into another era with her wonderful evocation of life during the war. For those already familiar with the characters it is simply a pleasure to catch up with them and continue to follow the joys and sorrows, trials and tribulations of their lives, however, great or small. I enjoyed the character development in this novel of Zoe in particular, as she had really grown as a person from the last book; and it was interesting to see the children growing up as well, Polly and Clary being my personal favourites amongst them, though the younger ones, Neville and Lydia, were quite often very amusing. Louise I found harder to like, her feelings and actions confusing at times.

There is quite a shift in tone from the innocence and golden days of the first book; the themes of loss in particular being more explored, as well as the frustrations of adolescence, and trying to find your own identity in that period where you're neither child nor yet adult.

All in all I found this an absorbing read; insightful of events and life during World War II, as well as a wonderful character study. I'll certainly be reading the third book in the series soon.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 November 2014
This is the second book in the Cazalet saga. Almost a year after the previous book, the country is at war and the family seem to be settled for the duration at Home Place. The children are getting older and developing as people with personalities. Louise is making her way as an actress, Polly is frantic about the war, Clary is struggling to be strong for everyone and Christopher is is deeply unhappy.

This book centres primarily around the children. There are sections seen from some of the older children's viewpoint alternating with general stories about the family. It is very interesting seeing the war and the adult world from the view of the children. The older children are still seen very much as children but they see and understand so much more than the adults give them credit for.

This is not a big action book. It is a slowly developing saga showing the big picture of World War II alongside the everyday worries of living in a country at war and the usual concerns of growing teenagers. The characters are individual and I really got a sense of their personalities, how they were thinking and how they will react.

I very much enjoy this type of story - the slowly developing saga where the characters personalities become more defined as the story develops through the series. This is a particularly good series of books and I am very much looking forward to progressing onto book 3.
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This is the second book in the Cazalet Chronicles, and war, which was just starting at the end of volume one, is now in full swing. The book deals with its impact on the whole Cazalet family from the smallest baby to the oldest member. For some it brings freedom from care, for others it brings sorrow heaped upon sorrow.

I don't want to say more than that about what happens in the books, because uncovering all the story lines of each of the characters and their ups and downs, is part of what makes this series so utterly enjoyable. Howard is so good at character that you really care, and you really want to know, and me telling you what you are there to discover for yourself will only ruin things.

I bought all five of these books in one go, and finished them in a week. I didn't want to cook. I didn't want to clean. I just wanted to read and read, and keep reading. It has been a long time since I have been so entranced by a series of books. I loved them.
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on 16 September 2013
I read this book straight after the first book in the series as I wanted to know what happened to the characters. I still found it difficult to remember who was whose son or daughter as there are so many characters of similar ages. I thought at first that this book was even slower than the first one, but by half way through realised that there had been some skilful character building and it became compulsive reading. Perhaps a break between reading the books would have been beneficial, although having said that I'm considering going straight into volume 3 as I realise I have become very involved with the 'plot'. It's just a question of whether I can devote another full day to reading as once started it is difficult to put down.
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on 1 June 2015
September 2, 1939: Germany has invaded Poland and, for the Cazalet family in London and Sussex, war seems imminent. The story is told from 1939 to 1941 from the viewpoints of three Cazalet cousins, teenagers Polly, Louise and Clary. Marking Time is second in the five-book series The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard.
We see them growing up quickly, forced to face war and death before their time, watch their parents struggle with ordinary life and relationships and health crises which continue despite the fighting. One day a German bomber crashes into a nearby field and Christopher, a pacifist, runs out to prevent the local men from shooting the injured Germans. Afterwards, Polly and Christopher go for a walk. Polly thinks “how odd it was that when one wanted everything to be good with somebody, one started not telling them everything.” They come to understand that their parents are not just parents, but people too with their own feelings and worries. Polly wonders if “concealment and deceit were a necessary part of human relationships. Because if they were, she was going to be pretty bad at them.”
Louise is at acting school but struggles to play a character ‘in lust’ as she’s a virgin and unsure of the finer details. Then she meets a painter. Clary continues in Sussex, having lessons with Polly and growing to like and respect their tutor Miss Milliment, but she worries about her younger brother Neville who runs away from prep school. And all the time, the adults keep secrets.
Read more of my book reviews at my blog
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on 10 August 2013
I loved the first part of the Cazalet Chronicles and could hardly wait to start Part 2. It did not disappoint. Being of a "certain age" this was like revisiting my childhood as all the things almost forgotten in the mists of time came flooding back - particularly the descriptions of how wartime affected the lives of those at home, even when they were by today's standards, upper middle class with servants, large country houses and with second homes in London. Making do, sheets turned sides to middle, houses remaining undecorated, clothing coupons, rabbit stew ... and yet there were trips to London and visits to night clubs. It was a different world where children were certainly loved but were also virtually ignored for most of the time with the result that they had the most glorious freedom which children today could only dream about and yet grew up learning right and wrong, the importance of helping the family, the importance of generosity and kindness. Elizabeth Jane Howard writes beautifully;her characters have their weaknesses and their strengths and at times you identify so closely with them that you find yourself quite emotional. Cannot wait for Part 3.
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