Author(s): Elizabeth Jane Howard
This is the final book in the landmark Cazalet Chronicles, recently broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It is the 1950s and as the Cazalets' beloved matriarch, the Duchy, passes away, she takes with her the last remnants of a world - of great houses and servants, of class and tradition - in which the Cazalets have thrived. Louise, now divorced, becomes entangled in a painful affair; while Polly and Clary must balance marriage and motherhood with their own ideas and ambitions. Hugh and Edward, now in their sixties, are feeling ill-equipped for this modern world; while Villy, long abandoned by her husband, must at last learn to live independently. But it is Rachel, who has always lived for others, who will face her greatest challenges yet...Events will converge one Christmas at Home Place; where a new generation of Cazalets will descend. Only one thing is certain: nothing will ever be the same again..."Elizabeth Jane Howard is one of those novelists who shows, through her work, what the novel is for...She helps us to do the necessary thing - open our eyes and our hearts". (Hilary Mantel).
Twenty years ago I read the four books by Elizabeth Jane Howard known as the ‘Cazalet Chronicles’: The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, and Casting Off. I thoroughly enjoyed the engrossing saga of an upper-middle-class English family, which left the family story in 1945. Howard died in January this year, but she had written a fifth volume, All Change, which begins in 1956 and finishes in December 1958. Although it was so long since I had read the series, I could recall some of the more memorable characters, and Howard includes a synopsis and a family tree, so I didn't have to read them all again (though that would be a treat). All does not go well for the Cazalet family after the war, so this is a must-read for admirers of the earlier books, and, if you haven't read those, now would be a good time to start. - Jan
Elizabeth Jane Howard is the author of fourteen highly acclaimed novels. The Cazalet Chronicles - The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion and Casting Off - have become established as modern classics and have been adapted for a major BBC television series and most recently for BBC Radio 4. All Change is the fifth book in the series. In 2002 Macmillan published Elizabeth Jane Howard's autobiography, Slipstream. In that same year she was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.