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Casting Off | [Elizabeth Jane Howard]

Casting Off

This is the final volume of The Cazalet Chronicle, the quartet of novels chronicling the lives of a British family before, during, and after the Second World War. VE Day has been celebrated, but the war with Japan goes on. Polly, Clary, and Louise are grown up, discovering loneliness, loss, and passion. Rupert, missing in France for so long, returns to find Zoe curiously withdrawn; Edward will be forced to choose between wife and mistress; Hugh must finally accept Sybil's death.
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Publisher's Summary

This is the final volume of The Cazalet Chronicle, the quartet of novels chronicling the lives of a British family before, during, and after the Second World War. VE Day has been celebrated, but the war with Japan goes on. Polly, Clary, and Louise are grown up, discovering loneliness, loss, and passion. Rupert, missing in France for so long, returns to find Zoe curiously withdrawn; Edward will be forced to choose between wife and mistress; Hugh must finally accept Sybil's death. Casting Off shows us the lives of these individuals, but also gives us a panoramic view of what was happening in England during the crucial post-war period.

©1995 Elizabeth Jane Howard; (P)1996 Chivers Audio Books

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  • Louisa
    Freshwater Bay, United Kingdom
    4/26/13
    Overall
    "Fabulous"

    Without a doubt this series is the best I've listened to in a very long time - Jill Balcon's sympathetic reading brings all the characters to life. We have followed their fortunes throughout the four books, and as the series winds down, we are sad to realize that this is the last book and we have to say goodbye, but are also delighted at the skill and emotional balance of this superb story teller and emotionally charged narration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Merelina
    Halinghen, France
    1/13/12
    Overall
    "Very disappointed a good book totally ruined."

    I am sorry to be negative. I love this book by Elizabeth Jane Howard and have the first three. I never checked that the reader was the same for Casting Off. This reader Jill Balcon has a very flat voice, there is no difference showing who is talking it gets very confusing. Some readers in particular Julia Franklin are wonderful. Not Jill, her voice shows no emotion and she sounds bored. I normally check readers as the voice is so important but did not check this one as I presumed it would be the same as the original 3 books, Elenor Bron I think it is.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chappers
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    4/23/13
    Overall
    "Happy-ever-after - and a poor narrator to boot"

    This is the 4th and final novel in the 'Cazalet Chronicles' series, and it's the most irritatingly unrealistic of the lot. What had started out as an interesting family saga set between the war years, by this stage had deteriorated into a tie-the-ends-up, happily-ever-after fantasy. I can't recall so actively disliking a set of characters as much (but then I never was one for romantic fiction). By this stage, too, I was finding Jill Balcon's voice incredibly irritating. It veers wildly between deep and piping, depending on whether she's depicting adults or children, and unless I wore headphones I often missed what she said. I also found there were scarcely any pauses between different scenes - I'd be listening to one scene only to find that the story had moved on in the next breath to somewhere entirely different. It shows how little variety there was in Balcon's reading for me not to spot the switch of location until several minutes had passed. I was so happy when this awful concluding book finally came to its end.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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