- Mass Market Paperback: 308 pages
- Publisher: Pocket (February 2, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671661205
- ISBN-13: 978-0671661205
- Package Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 107 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,763,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From Publishers Weekly
Three generations of an English clan summer at their estate during 1937 and 1938, troubled by threats of war and less significant matters, including the chauffeur's sluggish driving and a treed cat. "Charming but unwieldy. . . . The fan of sagas full of slice-of-life detail may find the book too short, while the lover of catharsis will feel it stops short of its goal," said PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'Vivid and compulsively readable' Sunday Telegraph; 'A superb novel... strangely hypnotic... very funny... surpasses even the best of what Elizabeth Jane Howard has written' The Spectator; 'The creation of a vanished historical world... engrossing' Village Voice --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Lovely descriptions of the landscape and accurate portrayal of hidden guilt and shame.
I first discovered Light Years in the early 1990s, shortly after it was written, while visiting Hatchard's book store in London. A year or two later, again in London, I found Marking Time, the second book. Needless to say, the books were not generally available in the U.S. (Jeff Bezos was not to launch Amazon, nor Amazon UK, for another couple of years). Thanks to a friend traveling to Europe, I did succeed in getting my hands on Confusion and Casting Off, the 3rd and 4th volumes, which seemed to be the end. Not. Just before Howard died in 2014 at the age of 90, and more than twenty years after the previously final volume had been published, the 5th Cazalet, All Change, was released. It was such a joy to have another Cazalet, I read it all in one day.
It is interesting to note that the Cazalet books are highly autobiographical (see Howard's autobiography, Slipstream) and that her stepson, Martin Amis, was instrumental in her deciding to write the series.
I have lent or given the Cazalet Chronicles to a dozen or more friends, all of whom enjoyed the books. Howard wrote at least ten other novels before she embarked on the Cazalets, including one which starts at the end and moves to the beginning. If not quite the joy of the Cazalets, they are all good reads, too.
life both in London & the country estate. Their habits, hopes, indiscretions and passions all make for a very good read. The children play a large part as the cousins support each other & quarrel at the same time.
There are lots of characters and I did have to refer many times to the family tree at the front of the novel but all of these characters help to really set the stage for understanding the life and times of upper class English families who still bore the scars of the First World War and who are now gearing up for the inevitable return to the battlefields.
One facet of the book which fascinated me was how much time was devoted to the preparation of and eating of enormous quantities of food. When one looks at how many meals were eaten daily, at how rich or loaded with sugar these meals were, one is amazed that the English were not a race of totally obese, diabetic people!
If you enjoy historical English family sagas, I think you will thoroughly enjoy this book. I hope the next two volumes live up to my expectations.