©1999 Elizabeth Jane Howard; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I have enjoyed both this book and its predecessor in the quartet, _The Light Years_, for its range of characters--mostly sweet and kind people who are flawed in relatable ways. The narrator is excellent. These are books that I don't have to tune into every day, as the plot continues gently and is more about the thoughts and feelings of the many characters than about exciting development, but I find myself becoming more and more drawn in as the books proceed. I feel connected to the characters and think about them, almost as real people, even when I'm not listening.
I am looking forward to the final two in the series.
This is my second time listening to the Audible edition of Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazelet Chronicles and I am loving it!
Actually, I'm finding it immensely more enjoyable the second time, as there are details I completely missed the first time around.
If you like the sort of novel that moves you steadily toward a surprising climax and then puts it satisfyingly all back together again by book's end, then you might want to skip this one.
For that matter, you should skip the rest of the books in the Cazelet Chronicles all together.
Howard is a genius in creating multidimensional characters that you can see (or hear) coming to life - deceitful , perverse, quiet or noisily ambivalent, and dishonest, yet, as in real life, these same people can be forthright, candid, kind, charitable, and self-sacrificing
I love UK WWII historical fiction, however Howard's books are less about the actual war itself. She seems to prefer it be a backdrop to her novel's formation of its characters.
This, and the rest of the Chronicles, are for you if you love family sagas, especially the English "Home Front" during WWII.
I love it!
No.. struggled to get through it.
clear narration and great voice inflection
Did not suit my taste in stories. Found it a bit trite and boring
I wasn't interested enough in the story to continue with the series. I also had to keep the volume uncomfortably high to hear frequent portions dropped to almost a whisper.
The story moved well until it started delving into the lives of the older adults, homosexuality and immoral living, left me very disappointed in a story about lives during the war.
"The Cazalet Chronicles"
To anyone unfamiliar with Elizabeth Jane Howard's work, the Cazalet Chronicles are wonderful books with which to begin, despite having been written quite late in her career. They follow the Cazlet family from 1938 until after the war has ended and to some extent are auto biographical. Her characterizations of the family members and her diaglogue for the children in the story are particularly accomplished and one is left enitrely convinced that these are real people and not just the producrt of the author's imagination. The awful Neville is my favourite - well, one of them anyway. The thing about these books is that they involve the reader/listener utterly and completely and one no sooner finishes one than one rushes on to the next to find out how things have turned out. Jill Balcon reads and interprets the boofks brilliantly: I cannot imagine anyone doing it better. Buy this series! If you love good, well crafted literature, you won't regret it!
I have downloaded confusion immediately!
The writing is superb and the narration fantastic. Don't get the abridged version I implore you!
"Fusion of perfect story and gifted narrator"
Yes. The best kind of family saga.
Louise. Probably the best drawn character. Close to the author's own experience I guess. But they are all brilliantly drawn by EJH.
She does a marvellous job with the pre-pubescent boys in the tale. The mark of a true professional.
Life, love, and loss in a world at war
You don't get much better writing than this. Neither will you find a more consummate professional than Jill Balcon to take you so convincingly into the England of the upper middle classes of the 1940s
"evocative historical novel"
a brilliantly read and intensely moving novel which leads further into the Cazalet history. The characters are richly described and Jill Balcon's reading is perfect. mesmerising.
"Every bit as enjoyable as the printed book"
Yes, I shall definitely listen to this again. I have read the book a few times and found this just as enjoyable. The performance is excellent and didn't take away from what I always imagined.
Although this story is on a much larger scale being part of a quartet of books (I don't count the recent addition "All Change" as it contained a lot of inaccuracies) I would compare it to "Coming Home" by Rosamunde Pilcher as it is set in the same time frame.
I don't really have a favourite scene but I do feel in sympathy with Clary who seems to have had a raw deal.
The only fault I could find with this audio version is that it is split into chapters which bear no relation to the chapters in the print version. If you set the sleep timer they sometimes finish in mid paragraph.
"Well read and written family saga"
Well written, insightful book in Cazalet Saga by Elizabeth Jane Howard. Interesting background of range of different characters, their relationships and experience of WW II. Different sections are written from different characters points of view and build up a real and moving story.Accretion of convincing detail of daily life and emotions I find fascinating.
Jill Balcon reads this very well, and the story with a large cast of convincing characters is almost hypnotically addictive. I prefer Elaernor Bron, but she has recorded the abridged version only, and the unabridged version is so much better and more satisfying.
Fates of favourite characters and seeing them grow, grow up and change is moving, I care what happens to them, and they seem real.
Great series- five parts, best to start at book I, The Light Years.
"Falling out of love with this narrator"
This is the second novel in 'the Cazalet Chronicles' series. I'd quite enjoyed Jill Balcon's reading of the first novel 'The Light Years', but here the story's focus is on the women and children of the extended family. Unfortunately the narrator chooses to portray each young child in a high-pitched mincing voice, and there seem to be a LOT of young children in this book... I veered between switching it off for a moment's peace and wanting to hear the story of the remaining adults. Can't say I enjoyed it much.
I have know completed all five books in this series. I hardly ever give five stars but these books totally deserve it.
I didn't want any of them to end. I feel like the characters are real people that I know. I can't put my finger on what makes them so brilliant unfortunately, as I wish I could write stories like these. I loved the innocence of the children and the time. I couldn't wait to go to bed to be able to listen to them. I completely and utterly lost myself in every one of the books. It's interesting as such things as morals and thoughts on life are as relevant hundred years of so ago as they are today.
I would totally recommend all five of these books. I cannot sing their praises enough.
The narration was absolutely fantastic with lots of different voices to have to change into. I did read that the narrator was a friend of the writer. Excellent work well done, I wish I spoke as beautifully as you do.
You must must listen to these books.
I find myself completely involved in these gentle, beautifully evolved stories, so charmingly read by Jill Balcon. I love the various carefully delineated characters and the patient ways their lives unfold.
Must go - the next volume is patiently waiting for me!
"Not My Cup of Tea"
No It was too slow and dealt a lot about what each character was thinking.
I didn't enjoy all the trivia about what each member of the family was doing. It didn't have enough action for me.
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