This “dazzling” novel follows a family of English aristocrats as their country teeters on the brink of World War II (Penelope Fitzgerald). As war clouds gather on the distant horizon, Hugh, Edward, and Rupert Cazalet, along with their wives, children, and loyal servants, prepare to leave London for their annual pilgrimage to the family’s Sussex estate. There, they will join their parents, William and Kitty, and sister, Rachel, at Home Place, the sprawling retreat where the three brothers hope to spend an idyllic summer of years gone by. But the First World War has left indelible scars. Hugh, the eldest of his siblings, was wounded in France and is haunted both by recurring nightmares of battle and the prospect of another war. Edward adores his wife, Villy, a former dancer searching for meaning in life, yet he’s incapable of remaining faithful to her. Rupert desires only to fulfill his potential as a painter, but finds that love and art cannot coexist. And devoted daughter Rachel discovers the joys—and limitations—of intimacy with another woman. A candid portrait of British life in the late 1930s and a sweeping depiction of a world on the brink of war, The Light Years is a must-read for fans of Downton Abbey. Three generations of the Cazalet family come to unforgettable dramatic life in this saga about England during the last century—and the long-held values and cherished traditions that would soon disappear forever.
Home Place, Sussex, 1937. The English family at home... For two unforgettable summers they gathered together, safe from the advancing storm clouds of 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 played out their lives - with their relatives, their children and their servants - and the fascinating triangle of their affairs...
For fans of Downton Abbey, the second volume of the critically acclaimed Cazalet saga takes readers into the lives of an extended British family and their devoted retinue It is 1939, and Hitler has just invaded Poland. The exigencies of wartime will force the Cazalets to make difficult choices as the older children are evacuated from London and settled in Home Place, their longtime Sussex summer estate. Narrated primarily through the voices of three Cazalet cousins—sixteen-year-old Louise and fourteen-year-old Polly and Clary—Marking Time details the continuing saga of their fathers. With the outbreak of war, Edward is determined to do his part for England. Hugh, crippled in World War I, must sit back and watch other men fight for their country, including his brother Rupert, who enlists and goes missing in action. The Cazalets’ story plays out against the greater drama unfolding on the world stage. Three young girls yearn for the freedom they believe adulthood will confer upon them in this tale of struggle and sacrifice, love and loss, as a new generation of Cazalets makes itself heard. With strong female characters such as the stoic Kitty; her daughter, Rachel, who’s in a relationship with another woman; and the loyal governess Miss Milliment, Marking Time explores the role of women during the war amid early stirrings of feminism.
The fourth volume of the Cazalet Chronicles opens just as World War II has ended, continuing this critically acclaimed family saga perfect for fans of Downton Abbey The war is over, but for the Cazalets—and England—the challenges continue. Against the backdrop of a crumbling empire, the family soldiers on in the wake of disappointment, heartbreak, and tragedy. Returning home after five long years, Rupert Cazalet struggles to adapt to civilian life back in England. And his wife, Zoe, harbors a guilty secret. Young wife and mother Louise Cazalet, trapped in a loveless marriage to a famous portrait painter, searches for a way out. Cazalet cousins Polly and Clary must face life in a new world, their hopes and ideals changed forever by the ravages of war. And Rachel’s self-sacrificing nature could cost her her relationship with Margot Sidney. But the family comes together again as three generations of Cazalets struggle to hold onto Home Place, the beloved Sussex estate that has been their refuge and their heart. Against the titanic sweep of history, as they are tested by infidelities, divorce, unimaginable loss, and the promise of renewed love, the Cazalets try to cast off the sins and sorrows of the past and sail bravely toward the future.
The women of the Cazalet family carry on while WWII casts its shadow over England as the saga by the award-winning author of The Light Years continues. In the spring of 1942, after the attacks on Pearl Harbor have pulled America into the war, the world reels from the ever-increasing atrocities of the conflict. And in Sussex, at the Cazalet family estate known as Home Place, personal tragedies begin to take their toll. Polly, reacting to the untimely death of her mother, flees her comfortable surroundings accompanied her cousin Clary. But the bustling life of London proves a test not only for their ability to live on their own but also for their once-close relationship. Nineteen-year-old Louise believes she has found the man of her dreams in dashing naval officer Michael Hadleigh. After a whirlwind marriage and honeymoon, though, she begins to realize that being a young wartime bride is not the fairy tale she once presumed it would be. With Rupert still missing in action, his second wife, Zoë, struggles to maintain hope that her husband will one day return. But when a handsome stranger offers her solace, she finds herself drawn into an inadvisable but sorely needed affair. Confusion beautifully continues the sweeping family epic started in The Light Years and Marking Time, examining the struggles, passions, heartbreaks, and joys of three generations. Filled with profound reflections on a country torn apart by war and intimate glances into the lives of those left behind, this is a must-read novel for fans of Downton Abbey and lovers of wartime historical fiction.
Written twenty years after the publication of Casting Off, the final volume of the Cazalet Chronicles begins in 1956 when the death of the family matriarch brings the scattered members of the extended clan back together The death of eighty-nine-year-old matriarch Kitty “the Duchy” Cazalet marks the end of an era—and the commencement of great change for the family. The long, difficult marriage of second son Edward to Villy has ended in divorce and Edward is contemplating wedlock with his longtime mistress, Diana. Hugh, the eldest son, wounded in the Great War and haunted by the death of his wife, Sybil, has finally found happiness with Jemima Leaf. Rupert, the youngest, who was missing-in-action during World War II, is now committed to rebuilding his relationship with his wife, Zoe. Rachel, who has spent a lifetime looking after others, has the chance to finally live for herself—even as she’s faced with the loss of all she cherishes most. And Home Place, the beloved Sussex estate where the Cazalets have gathered for years, is now a beloved relic that, with its faded wallpaper and leaky roof, has aged along with its occupants, including faithful servants like Mrs. Cripps, Mr. Tonbridge, and former governess Miss Milliment, now steadfast companion to Villy. Elizabeth Jane Howard’s critically acclaimed family saga comes to its conclusion as the Cazalets reflect on their past and begin the inexorable move forward.
The complete multigenerational saga of an upper-middle-class British family before, during, and after World War II. As war clouds gather on England’s horizon, the Cazalet siblings, along with their wives, children, and servants, prepare to leave London and join their parents at their Sussex estate, Home Place. Thus begins the decades-spanning family saga that has engrossed millions of readers. The Light Years: Hugh, the eldest of the Cazalet siblings, was wounded in France and is haunted by recurring nightmares and the prospect of another war. Edward adores his wife, a former dancer, yet he’s incapable of remaining faithful. Rupert desires only to fulfill his potential as a painter, but finds that love and art cannot coexist. And devoted daughter Rachel discovers the joys—and limitations—of intimacy with another woman. Marking Time: Narrated primarily through the voices of teenagers Louise, Polly, and Clary, the second novel details the continuing story of their fathers. With the outbreak of war, Edward is determined to do his bit for England. But Hugh, injured in World War I, must sit back and watch other men fight for their country, including his brother Rupert, who enlists and goes missing in action. Confusion: As the world reels in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the Cazalets are dealt a tragic blow, and a new generation struggles to find peace with each other, a peace that seems to prove as elusive as it is in the larger world. Casting Off: The war is over, but for the Cazalets—and England—the challenges continue. Against the backdrop of a crumbling empire, the family soldiers on in the wake of disappointment, heartbreak, and tragedy. But the family comes together again as three generations of Cazalets struggle to hold onto Home Place, the beloved Sussex estate that has been their refuge and their heart. All Change: In 1956, the death of eighty-nine-year-old matriarch Kitty “the Duchy” Cazalet marks the end of an era—and the commencement of great change for the family. And Home Place, the beloved Sussex estate where the Cazalets have gathered for years, is now a beloved relic that, with its faded wallpaper and leaky roof, has aged along with its occupants. A rich historical read for those who love E. M. Forster, Evelyn Waugh, or Downton Abbey, this is the story of a family “[rendered] thrillingly three-dimensional by a master craftsman” (TheSunday Telegraph).
The intimate and revealing memoir of the woman behind the bestselling Cazalet Chronicles and a fascinating window into the British literary world. One of Britain’s most famous and beloved authors, Elizabeth Jane Howard’s life was as rich, varied, and passionate as the characters in her novels. In her brutally honest, at times humorous, wholly captivating autobiography, the woman who felt she lived “in the slipstream of experience” employs her prodigious skills as a novelist to chart the course of an eventful life—including three marriages, multiple affairs, and friendships with the literary giants of the day, among them Kenneth Tynan and Cecil Day-Lewis. Born in 1923 to bohemian parents within a large Edwardian family, Howard was raised in privilege and security. Educated at home from the age of eleven, she enjoyed short-lived careers as a model, an actress, and an editor before she found her métier as a novelist. She gained invaluable experience growing up in a time bookended by two world wars and enjoyed a level of independence denied an earlier generation of British women. In her memoir, Howard writes with painful candor about her introduction to sex—her father abused her when she was fifteen—and her marriage to Peter Scott, son of the famed British explorer, along with her tempestuous third marriage to Kingsley Amis. She delves into complicated romantic and family relationships, inviting the reader to accompany her on her search for truth in life. Featuring cameos by William Faulkner, Rosamond Lehmann, Evelyn Waugh, Charlie Chaplin, Paul Scofield, and many others, Slipstream finally illuminates a struggle common to women writers of every time and place: carving out a room of one’s own.
Journeying backward in time—from 1950 to 1926—this masterpiece of women’s literary fiction presents an indelible portrait of a marriage Forty-three-year-old Antonia Fleming is preparing a dinner party for eight at the house in Campden Hill Square she shares with her husband, Conrad. The occasion is the engagement of their son, Julian. Their other child, Deirdre, hates her father and resents her mother—a reality Conrad ponders, along with the disastrous state of Deirdre’s single life, as he leaves the bed of his current mistress. In illuminating the quotidian details of domestic life, The Long View perfectly captures a long relationship, with its moments of joy and intimacy, loneliness and regret, and of the roads not taken. As the story moves backward in time, we learn about the events that led up to Conrad and Antonia’s fateful first meeting—including a startling secret in Antonia’s past. With brilliant use of reverse chronology, the bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles paints a realistic and revealing portrait of a marriage and the decisions, good and bad, right and wrong, that shape lives.
An aging con man sets his sights on a twice-burned, sixtyish woman in this suspenseful novel from the author of the bestselling Cazalet Chronicles. Harry Kent is the caretaker of a houseboat on the English canal where he lives, subsisting on a nightly dinner of tinned steak and kidney pudding. Although love has been the single most important influence in his life and he believes he knows what the other sex wants, he is separated from his wife and has left behind a string of other failed relationships. Playwright Daisy Langrish has just bought a weekend cottage in the country. She has an estranged adult daughter, Katya, from her first marriage, and a grandchild. Her second marriage, to a handsome actor seven years younger, recently ended in a painful divorce. When Harry shows up looking for work, Daisy, needy and vulnerable, hires him first as a gardener and then, while she’s away in America, as caretaker. But when she returns to England, she begins to fall for her charming employee. Slowly and with masterly skill, Harry seduces Daisy, drawing her in to his spiraling web of lies and deception. Told in the alternating voices of Harry and Daisy, Falling builds tension as it winds its way toward a thrilling climax. Both a story of romantic yearning and a cautionary tale inspired by the author’s own experiences, this intimate and dispassionate exploration of the many facets of love is among Elizabeth Jane Howard’s finest literary accomplishments.
From the bestselling author of The Cazalet Chronicles, The Sea Change is a witty yet head-rending story of a marriage in crisis. Emmanuel is a famous playwright. Lillian is his sickly and embittered wife. They have never fully buried the memory of their dead daughter, Sarah. Rich but discontented, they flit from capital to capital in the company of their hero-worshipping young manager. Then Alberta, straight from an English vicarage and the pages of Jane Austen, is appointed as Emmanuel's secretary. This prim and utterly delightful figure helps the family in ways they didn't know they needed. One by one the leopards change their spots . . . 'The characterization is the triumph of this book. Miss Howard has a exquisite sense of place' Observer
From the bestselling author of The Cazelet Chronicles comes Elizabeth Jane Howard's Love All. The late 1960s. For Persephone Plover, the daughter of distant and neglectful parents, the innocent, isolated days of childhood are long past. Now she must deal with the emotions of an adult world . . . Meanwhile in Melton, in the West Country, Jack Curtis - a self-made millionaire - has employed Persephone's aunt, a garden designer in her sixties, to deal with the terraces and glasshouses of the once beautiful local manor house he has acquired at vast expense. He also has plans to start an arts festival, as a means to avoid the loneliness of the recently divorced. Also in Melton are the Musgrove siblings, Thomas and Mary, whose parents originally owned and lived in Melton House. They are still trying to cope with emotional consequences of the tragic death of Thomas's wife, Celia . . . as is Francis, Celia's brother, who has come to live with them and thereby, perhaps, to find his way through life. 'Graceful, moving. . . Howard's elegant prose, keen eye for detail and ability to make the reader care about her characters are second to none' Daily Express
The author of the bestselling Cazalet Chronicles brilliantly captures the coming-of-age hopes and yearnings of an adolescent English girl during World War I The fourth child born to a struggling musician and a mother who’s an incurable romantic, Lavinia lives an unremarkable existence. But a visit to a sprawling country estate transforms her world and becomes the touchstone for the rest of her life. Lavinia is sixteen when she’s invited to a house party given by distant acquaintances. It’s her first trip away from home, and she’s instantly mesmerized by her beautiful and lush new surroundings. Days are filled with delectable meals and skating and riding lessons; nights with parties and dancing. Lavinia adores her hosts, Lucy and Gerald Lancing, and their boisterous extended family—and the mysterious, conceited Rupert Laing, with whom she shares her first kiss. But the visit can’t last forever. Soon after she returns home, the First World War breaks out. As Lavinia matures, and other people pass through her life—including Ian Graham, the soldier who loves her yet doesn’t expect her love in return—she continues to view things through the prism of that unforgettable Christmas with the Lancings. Elizabeth Jane Howard’s debut novel about a young girl’s spiritual and emotional awakening, the painful pride of youth, and female emancipation, The Beautiful Visit is a moving montage of English life at the beginning of the last century.
A short story anthology of thrills, chills, and the impulses and longings that drive us, from the bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles. In this dazzling collection, author Elizabeth Jane Howard mines the rich terrain of the heart with her trademark wit and style, as well as a Hitchcockian dose of spine-tingling suspense. In “Pont du Gard,” a man on holiday with his sixteen-year-old daughter and her best friend gets his comeuppance when he confesses his infidelities to his long-suffering wife, and in Howard’s masterly hands, the seduction of the naïve, betrothed Englishwoman of “Toutes Directions” by a worldly Frenchman is fresh, tender, and liberating. In another story, a twelve-year-old child star plots how to get the “Whip Hand” over her monstrous mother, while the effects of a family patriarch dying on Christmas day are shown through the shifting perspectives of his loved ones, including a loyal servant, in “The Devoted.” And in the hair-raising, hallucinatory title story, a young woman moves to London to satisfy her mother’s desire for her to meet her soul mate—only to encounter a menacing stranger who gives terrifying new meaning to the finding of Mr. Right. In these and other tales, Howard proves once again that she is a master of the subtle, revealing domestic detail. Featuring wronged spouses, stalkers, and men and women falling in and out of love, the nine stories in this haunting collection skew our perceptions and reality while brimming with emotion that is at once unique and universal.
London and Sussex, 1942. The English family in turmoil... The long, dark days of struggle provide the poignant background to the third book of the Cazalet Chronicle. As the war enters its fourth year, chaos has become a way of life. Both in the still peaceful Sussex countryside, and in air-raid-threatened London, the divided Cazalets begin to find the battle for survival echoing the confusion in their own lives...
This exquisite, resonant novel by PEN/Faulkner winner James Salter is a brilliant portrait of a marriage by a contemporary American master. It is the story of Nedra and Viri, whose favored life is centered around dinners, ingenious games with their children, enviable friends, and near-perfect days passed skating on a frozen river or sunning on the beach. But even as he lingers over the surface of their marriage, Salter lets us see the fine cracks that are spreading through it, flaws that will eventually mar the lovely picture beyond repair. Seductive, witty, and elegantly nuanced, Light Years is a classic novel of an entire generation that discovered the limits of its own happiness—and then felt compelled to destroy it.
First Digital Edition; Grier Rating: A** Beth was there when Laura arrived. She was the brain, the sparkle, the gay rebel voice of the sorority and, wonder of wonders, she chose Laura as her roommate. That was the way it began… the one up there at the pinnacle and the other, the lonely one, longing always to draw nearer and nearer. Suddenly, the distance between them closed and they were alone on an island of forbidden bliss. Beth was drawn to Laura, who loved her with a passion she had never experienced before. Will their love survive the pressures of secrecy and the fears of societal reprisal? Like the unforgettable SPRING FIRE, here is an urgent young first novel of emotions running wild. Set against the backdrop of college sorority life, we watch as Laura and Beth are drawn to each other and then struggle to keep their love alive. Ann Bannon's courageous breakthrough novel was a hit in its day and still thrills lesbian readers everywhere!
From the much-loved author of the Cazalet Chronicles comes Elizabeth Jane Howard's first children's book, The Amazing Adventures of Freddie Whitemouse, following the magical journey of a mouse who wishes to be anything but himself. The trouble was that Freddie really did not like being a mouse. 'It's just a phase,' his mother said, but it wasn't . . . Little Freddie Whitemouse, of No.16, Skirting Board West, simply hates being a mouse. Mice are terribly small, frightened of everything, and aren't allowed to have any fun at all. Instead, he longs to be a fierce tiger, king of the jungle floor; or someone's treasured dog, able to run and play all day. So when a sorcerer toad hears Freddie's pleas and offers his assistance, there is really little else Freddie could ask for. So as not to make any rash decisions, Freddie agrees to spend a week as each animal. But what will he discover on his amazing adventure? And will he ever want to be just a plain old mouse again?
A dead war hero’s lingering influence follows his family from World War II–era London to the 1950s English countryside At the height of World War II, while her husband, Julius, was away at the front, Esme, the mother of two young children, fell in love for the first time. Her lover, a poet named Felix, was fourteen years her junior. After Julius was killed during the evacuation from Dunkirk, Esme hoped that she and Felix would marry. Instead, Felix enlisted, and Esme never saw him again. Now, nearly twenty years later, they’re about to be reunited. But not in the way Esme imagined. Past and present converge at Esme’s country house in Sussex where, during the course of one revelatory weekend, the far-reaching influence of the dead Julius begins to emerge. Narrated in turn by Esme; Felix; Esme’s daughters, Cressy and Emma; and Emma’s boyfriend, Daniel, the story moves seamlessly from one generation to the next as they all attempt to move on with their lives. In the tradition of Jean Rhys and Rosamond Lehmann, Elizabeth Jane Howard’s wit, sensitivity, and unerring powers of observation are on dazzling display in this novel that explores the lingering impact of a heroic action on a soldier’s loved ones. With its timeless themes of courage, love, and loss, After Julius is a towering work of fiction from the bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles.