The Light Years, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (5 ratings)

Description

The Light Years is the first novel in Elizabeth Jane Howard's bestselling Cazalet Chronicles. Home Place, Sussex, 1937. The English family at home . . . For two unforgettable summers they gathered together, safe from the advancing storm clouds of the Second World War.

In the heart of the Sussex countryside these were still sunlit days of childish games, lavish family meals and picnics on the beach. Three generations of the Cazalet family. Their relatives, their children and their servants - and the fascinating triangle of their affairs . . . Read the next books in the series, Marking Time, Confusion, Casting Off and All Change.

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Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.

Review by
4

This book reminds me of a soap opera for several reasons. There are a lot of characters - each has their own role to play but I spent the first half of the book flipping back to the family tree at the beginning. Some of the characters were lovely, and others did and said things so ridiculous I wanted to hit them with the book. Howard is very good at creating tension, which is happily resolved in the end, but anyone with an ounce of historical knowledge knows that this is bound to be short-lived. My fellow Brits will know what I mean when I say that I could almost hear the EastEnders "doof-doofs" as I read the last few pages. My bugbear for this book was that a few events were left unresolved, and I really hope these are picked up again in the next three books, because this family has a lot of secrets and I'd be disappointed if they never got to air their dirty laundry!I'd definitely recommend this book - I stayed up very late two nights in a row to finish it!

Review by
3

Impressive period detail of a privileged family in the 1930's.

Review by
3.5

Better than I expected. This is the story of the extended Cazalet family. Every summer the three brothers, Hugh, Edward and Rupert, take their families home to their childhood home in the heart of Sussex. This is the tale of two summers; 1937 and 1938 and the interwoven stories of their lives and loves.The story is told from the point of view of the pivotal character in the scene. It head-hops like crazy and it's sometimes a bit jarring to work out who is the character but after a while I got into the rhythm of the story and it flowed well for me.I like the characters, I cared for (most of) them, this is a book from an era I enjoy reading about, having grown up reading John Creasey and and Leslie Charteris among others and I was surprised to see that this was published in 1990, it felt pitch perfect.I was surprised how much I enjoyed this read, I wasn't expecting it.

Review by
3

Between this and <i>Shirley</i>, I didn't think I was ever going to finish reading a book again! Still, I shall probably plough on with the rest of the series. The Cazalet Chronicles reminds me a lot of <i>The Camomile Lawn</i> - a rather middle class family facing the advent of World War Two - only with less sex and a lot more pages. I don't quite believe in any of the characters, but they are fun to read about (and read and read and read). The only shocking part of the novel was the German maid's somewhat stereotypical (and unnecessary) revenge against her employers!

Review by
4.5

Loved this, and even though I'd seen the first volume dramatised as a television series before reading the book, I still enjoyed the reading! This is the sort of novel I really like, full of lots of characters, mostly from the same big sprawling British family, set around the time just prior to the second World War. The Cazalet family have made their money in the timber industry, and as war becomes an ever increasing possibility, the threat to their business and to the family, are the main concerns of Mr. Cazalet senior and his sons. The women in the family all have their own secret worries which they struggle with alone, all in the name of keeping up appearances. Can't wait to read the other four books in this series.

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