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Marking Time (Cazalet Chronicles) Paperback – 7 Nov 2013
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The second book in the landmark Cazalet Chronicles, previously a BBC radio and TV series. As war breaks out in Britain, Marking Time follows a family wondering if their lives will ever return to normal.
At Home Place, the windows are blacked out and food is becoming scarce as a new generation of Cazalets takes up the story. Louise dreams of being a great actress, Clary is an aspiring writer, while Polly, is burdened with knowledge and the need to share it. This is the sequel to "The Light Years".See all Product description
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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.
Elizabeth Jane Howard captures this particular strata of society particularly well. Their snobbery and status, the class distinction and the way their lives are disrupted. There are the usual lies and infidelities, sadness, coming of age and I feel quite involved with the minutiae of their lives. It's beautifully written, sharply observational and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
It Is interesting in that most of the younger members of the family embrace the social changes and live in more and more chaotic personal and domestic circumstances. The converations of the children trying to understand the complex lives of adults and mostly adults behaving in a way and with the freedon that only people with money can behave - that is that they have the safety of money to fall back on.
Will certainly read the third volume. A good companion read for the Cazalet Chronicles is ‘Elizabeth Jane Howard- A Dangerous Innocence by Artemis Cooper.
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Following the fortunes of the well-to-do Cazalet family as World War 2 takes hold.Read more