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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 Rupert, missing in France for so long, returns to find Zoe curiously withdrawn; Edward will be forced to choose between wife and mistress; Hugh must finally accept Sybil's death.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)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Louisa
  • 04-26-13

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Steel
  • 11-20-16

Wonderful story, beautifully read

I have just loved every part of this story, of the whole series. It's quite hard to have finished it. It has been fascinating as the story has moved from wartime into peace and into my own experience of social history. The characterisation is excellent and it will be a while before I can leave these people behind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gabrielle Harvey-Jones
  • 11-13-16

Very pleasing!

Gently and beautifully written about a very believable and endlessly engaging cast of characters. Splendidly read by Jill Balcon who seems to catch the subtle nuances and the lovely period flavour of these charming books!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ddodson
  • 11-09-16

Fantastic book

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marvellous Maud
  • 07-18-16

Story telling at its best

A gentle, delightful and captivating quartet of novels, beautifully read. I was immersed from start to finish and almost sad when the novels ended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bob D
  • 07-01-15

Beautiful

Love this book, so sad it's finished, missing all the characters already, what a beautifully written book and narration was perfect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Garden girl
  • 05-15-15

Beautifully written and narrated

Beautifully narrated by Jill Balcon. The usual meticulously written characters. Elizabeth Jane Howard's writing never fails to please and transport me to another time and another world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison
  • 11-21-14

Still Addictive...

I have only one more volume to listen to, the fourth, written ages after the first three. I think this volume, Casting Off, was supposed to draw the threads together and close the saga, so it does provide a sense of this. Many characters reach happy, or at least not miserable outcomes. It does veer towards the fantastic (for example, the discovery of dozens of priceless old masters, in the 200 room crumbling country house of Polly's friend, who then proposes - oh dear, it became really silly); but then, the rest of it isn't exactly 'real life' given the pitch of privilege at which they all live.

Bohemian life (perhaps anticipated a little, the 1940s seems a little too soon, but still...) meets upper-middle class story lines are good. I have to say though that my fondness for some of the characters I really liked at first did begin to wane so I am having a long break before I treat myself to the final volume.

I like the reader's voice, it's perfect for this setting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Merelina
  • 01-13-12

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Litlove
  • 04-22-18

Brilliant story, but hard at times to hear

The story was wonderful, as all the Cazalet Chronicles are. But beware the poor quality of the recording. Any chance, audible, you could rectify this?