Monday, September 5, 2016

The Light Years - Elizabeth Jane Howard

After reading different bloggers post about this series, The Cazalet Chronicles, I decided I wanted to read them, too.  Thank you to Harriet for her recent post, which reminded me that I shouldn't forget to try these books.  I splurged on all five books in the series, only spending about $20 for used copies.

The Light Years isn't a page turner, but it drew me in.  I wanted to spend time with the Cazalets at their country estate, with occasional trips to their London homes.

This volume begins in 1937 and ends in 1938.  War seems to be imminent.  But perhaps it's not.  We, of course, know what will happen.  Toward the end of the book, there is what I think is a very clear explanation for how and why Hitler came to power and managed to do what he did.

Most of the book is about the Brig and the Duchy, their three sons, Hugh, Edward, and Rupert, and their sons' families.  They're all spending the summer at the Cazalet country homes, Mill  Farm and Home Place, just down the road from each other.  The men go back and forth to London to run the family lumber business.  Except for Rupert, who is a teacher and an artist.

The dramas run the gamut from a lost cat, a child planning to run away, chicken pox, a clandestine affair, unwelcome guests, an unwelcome pregnancy, and the unexpectedly early and complicated birth of twins.  Parts made me smile, others made me sad.

It's not an exciting book, but it is an engrossing book.  I would love to have spent the summer with the Cazalets.  I plan to move right on into the next volume, Marking Time.


  1. I've just reserved it from my library. Thanks, I think!

    1. I hope you enjoy it. I've just started the second in the series, Marking Time. With all the characters to keep straight, I rather feel I need to read on while they're still fresh in my head from the first book.