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After Julius by [Howard, Elizabeth Jane]
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After Julius Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Length: 353 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Book Description

From the lauded, bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles

Book Description

It is twenty years since Julius died, but his last heroic action still affects the lives of the people he left behind. Emma, his youngest daughter, twenty-seven years old afraid of men. Cressida, her sister, a war widow, blindly searching for love in her affairs with married men. Esme, Julius's widow, still attractive at fifty-eight, but aimlessly lost in the routine of her perfect home. Felix, Esme's old lover, who left her when Julius died and who is still plagued by guilt for his action. And Dan, an outsider. Throughout a disastrous - and revelatory - weekend in Sussex, the influence of the dead Julius slowly emerges.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1033 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1447272323
  • Publisher: Pan; New edition edition (23 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005OYYIH8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,351 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Susannah B (Susie B) TOP 100 REVIEWER on 16 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First published in 1965, Elizabeth Jane Howard's fourth novel 'After Julius' focuses on the family of Julius Grace, the story beginning twenty years after the death of Julius, who was shot and killed during the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk in 1940. Esme, Julius's widow, is fifty eight when we first meet her; she lives alone in Sussex and enjoys her comfortable home and pretty garden. She has two daughters living in a shared flat in London: the stunningly beautiful Cressida (Cressy), a concert pianist, who is in her late thirties; and the quietly attractive Emma, who is in her late twenties and works for the family firm of publishers. Cressy, who was widowed during the war after a very brief marriage, has a string of unsatisfactory relationships behind her and is, at present, involved in an unhappy affair with a married man; Emma, is very wary of men and has just begun a friendship with Daniel, a practically penniless poet who is published by Emma's firm, and who is from a rather different section of the social scale to the upper-middle-class Graces. In addition, we meet Doctor Felix King, a middle-aged man who, when he was in his twenties, had an affair with Esme whilst Julius was still alive, and now home from working abroad, wants to meet up with Esme whom he has not seen for twenty years. (No spoilers, we learn all of this fairly early on in the novel). One weekend, all of these characters, and a few additional extras (one of them a disastrous surprise for at least one member of the family) congregate at Esme's home where, at the dinner party from hell, some rather surprising home truths are revealed and where we learn more about what actually happened to Julius.Read more ›
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By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
There are a few admirable linguistic felicities in this book which remind me of Jane Austen, something I feel rather ambiguous about. Lovely though these felicities are to work out, do they belong, I wonder, in a modern novel? Though, again, this is not quite a modern novel. Set in the late-1950s, it is about Esme, a fading but still game lady of 58, who is visited by her former lover Felix for a long weekend. Felix has turned up out of the blue. During the war he was a reserved occupation doctor and their love affair was partly the cause of Esme's husband Julius taking himself off to help at Dunkirk, where he was killed. This upset Felix so much that he immediately joined up, had a fairly unremarkable war and then devoted himself to looking after refugees in Korea, until returning to England to become a GP.

Also part of Esme's ménage are her two daughters, Cressida, who, having had a series of affairs with married men, is about to fall dramatically in love with Felix, and Emma, who has just met an odd poet from the lower classes, Daniel, and is about to fall for him in a similarly ton-of-bricks way.

Everyone turns up for a weekend at Esme's comfortable country house and it is all terribly fraught. In a certain kind of novel the word `vulgar' is used to denote anything modern or working class, and it comes up, amusingly (not intentionally) here, in relation to things like television sets. Apart from the odd anachronism like that, this is, however, rather an unexpectedly good novel. One cannot care too much about the sluttish Cressida, but Esme herself has pathos, and Emma is nicely bold and virginal by turns. All in all, a cracking good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Returned to re-reading this book after gap of 40 years following an article I read about the craft of Elizabeth Jane Howard. It is the story of a mother Esme and her two daughters Cressy and Emma and their tangled attempts to find and sustain love in post second world war England. Howard pays loving attention to detail, in particular food kedgereee and cabinet puddings, lemon foam with angelica and glace cherries, decor the walls were the colour of mealy porridge with a border like tinned fruit and the clothes. She is also good on nature and uses pathetic fallacy with ease, The story is set over a weekend in the country when an old lover returns to take stock. The narrative is shared by the main characters and their different perspectives make a sophisticated blend. Charming and brutal by turn. Recommended
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Format: Kindle Edition
I wish I could give this 3 and a half stars. I first read this novel about 30 years ago, along with all of EJH's others, and I count myself a die-hard fan. She never writes less than beautifully and with great wit and humour, and often her novels (particularly "Something in Disguise" and "Getting It Right") are heart-breaking; I'm not such a huge fan of the Cazalet series, although I did enjoy most of them. But, coming back to "After Julius" probably 15 years after I last re-read it... yes I liked most of it, loved the writing, but... something jarred. Now, to me, it has the feeling of a very definitely 1960s stage play more than a novel. What really jarred and offended and annoyed me this time was the character of Daniel. No doubt he's supposed to be a charming naif, but he comes across like a simpleton, almost retarded, certainly childish if not childlike in his ignorance, greed and stupidity. It's impossible to believe in him as a writer. What could this emotional illiterate possibly write? Worse -- he's violently, brutally misogynist, and a rapist. He is loathsome, and although I wasn't so conscious of it on past writings, now he spoils the book entirely for me, and I wanted Emma to be protected from him. As usual with Howard, the more minor characters are sometimes the most effective -- the doctor's wife and the wonderul old Major Hawkes stand out. But if only Howard were still alive to rewrite this without the truly horrible Daniel Brick! Then it would be 5-star along with her rest. It's simplest to say that in that one, unfortunately major, respect the book has not stood the test of time.
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