Wednesday, December 31, 2014

what I've been reading

I am hooked on the books in this fictional saga written by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

I hesitated before getting the first book in the series, " The Light Years".   It had mixed reviews on Amazon. I think  the thing that made me decide to try it was when a reviewer  mentioned what a beautiful  and descriptive style of writing the author has.

In this first book we are introduced to the Cazalets..three generations of a large, well to do family living in London and Sussex in the years before WWII.

Fortunately,Ms Howard included a chart with the family tree in the front of the book and also a reference page that lists which family members live in which household...and the names of their servants, gardeners, chauffeurs, etc.  There is an enormous cast of characters   and I was constantly referring back to that helpful info.

All through the first book, there isn't really anything major happening. Instead we get to know the family members  including the children and servants,  Some of their past life is revealed and also their thoughts and feelings.  It is so well written, that you get lost in their stories and don't really mind that the book meanders all around without ever bringing things to a close.

The second book ," Marking Time.", begins when the war has broken out and for safety's sake, the entire family moves to the grandparent's estate in the country...away from the air raids happening in London.
Even though this book is fiction, it gives us an idea what it must have been like for the English living through that war time...the rationing, the attacks, the death of loved ones in the fight.

Now, I have started on the third book, "Confusion". The war is still going on. The children are growing up but in the mean time babies have been born and more characters have been added to the story.

There are two more books to complete the chronicles, after this one!

I am really enjoying this series.  Good bed time reading.  Although there are sad parts, there are no graphic or violent scenes to leave you unsettled.
 For the most part, the author keeps it " clean" .  Sex is alluded to, but not written about in detail. No bad language.

I would say that you would have to read these books in the right order...I think it would be difficult to keep things sorted out in your mind, otherwise.

After I read the two remaining books, I will look for other work by this author.  Wish there were more like her!

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