Circles of Time (Passing Bells, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Circles of Time (Passing Bells #2)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  381 ratings  ·  63 reviews
A generation has been lost on the Western Front. The dead have been buried, a harsh peace forged, and the howl of shells replaced by the wail of saxophones as the Jazz Age begins. But ghosts linger—that long-ago golden summer of 1914 tugging at the memory of Martin Rilke and his British cousins, the Grevilles.

From the countess to the chauffeur, the inhabitants of Abingdon...more
Paperback, 425 pages
Published January 2nd 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published July 28th 1981)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Circles of Time, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Circles of Time

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,015)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Laura
THis is the second book of the Passing Bells series.

This is the story of Martin Rilke, a Chicago journalist and his British cousins, the Greevilles, who live in Abingdon Pryory.

After the end of World War I, some characters must face their beloved lost during the Great War as well as to recover from acute shell shock.

A momentary feeling of peace and happiness occurs but the economical and political German situation doesn't bring the expected optimism: the inflation is quite high, there is lack of...more
Misfit
Circles in Time begins in 1921, continuing the story of American journalist Martin Rilke and the Grevilles of Abingdon Pryory. The Great War might be over, although not everyone came home (sniff!). The world as they knew it is forever changed, social barriers between the elite and the working class are breaking down. The great estates are suffering from years of neglect, and even if one does have the money to restore them, where do you get the staff to keep them running?


I really don't want to g...more
Sarah
Sequels are a tricky business, I think. They are either a delight to read, just like catching up with old friends, or they are a disappointment.

Circles of Time by Phillip Rock follows on from The Passing Bells, a book I read last spring and completely fell in love with. The books tell the story of the aristocratic Greville family; the earl and countess of Stanmore, their children Charles, William and Alexandra; several family friends including the Wood-Lacys; their staff and finally the countes...more
Bev Walkling
I picked this book up at a second hand book store because of the cover picture and back cover description. I ave a fascination in the Great War and World War 2 and the description made it evident that the era between these wars would provide the subject matter of the book. The front cover says: " A new chapter in the unforgettable saga that began with the national best-seller THE PASSING BELLS" Clearly this book was the second in a series and I usually hesitate to start a series part way through...more
Diane
Feb 26, 2013 Diane added it
For fans of Downton Abbey going through withdrawal, the rerelease of Phillip Rock's Abingdon Pryory trilogy is a welcome relief. The first novel, The Passing Bells, introduced us to the Greville family, owners of Abingdon Pryory, which is very similar to Downton. Sir Anthony has the title and his German-American wife Hannah has the money.

The first novel took us deep into WWI- the politics of war, the horrors of the fighting, the loss of vibrant young men and women. The second novel, Circles of T...more
Katie Mech
Another Greville book done and I'm still in awe of this series. I didn't quite love the 2nd book as much as the first, but it's still very much a 5 star book.

As a Downton Abbey fan, I keep reading this and saying, "Good lord, were the creators of Downtown inspired by the Grevilles?" It certainly seems that way. But I wouldn't say this book smacks of Downton...it was around well before, and is so, so much better.

I love the characters in this series. From the Grevilles to Fenton to Martin to Ross...more
Alicia Prevost
Oh how I love this series!

My one issue with the first book was that it started a little too slowly but definitely wasn't a problem with this one. It was right into the action, life going on after the war and things getting more normal. Or well new normal, I guess.

I'm not even sure what to say about this book that I didn't say about the first one. The brilliance of it is the ensemble of characters and all the ways it shows the different ways people are moving on and recovering after the war. Ther...more
Susan
Fantastic read - this was written in the early 80s and the writing is spare and the characters are deeply developed - my favorite type of novel. Can't wait for the third book in the trilogy but must read Z (Zelda Fitzgerald) first for a book club.
CLM
Even better than book 1, particularly in its depiction of Germany between the two world wars. I enjoyed seeing the adult lives of the Greville siblings and the continuing story of their American cousin, Martin Rilke.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Due to some complications with the shipping of the second and third books in this series, my tour dates got pushed back. As such it has been over a month since I read The Passing Bells. That's enough time for a lot of the little details to go rushing out of my head. Thankfully, who was who came back quite quickly. Circles of Time is just as enjoyable, both from a family drama perspective and a historical perspective as the first book in the series.

Fiction set during WWI and WWII abounds, but the...more
Marcie
Circles of Time is the sequel to The Passing Bells. I have to say that I like this book just as much, if not more, than the first. The war is over and now begins the reconstruction not only of building, but also of lives. "The horizons have been expanded" in every direction. The line that divided the classes no longer existed. This is one of the major themes of this book: Exploring this new age. Once again the book focuses on Martin. He's from Chicago, but spent many years during the war as a jo...more
Ruth
While the "war to end all wars" came to its official conclusion in 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, two years later the effect of that devastating conflict is still to be found rippling through the lives of the survivors. American Martin Rilke, who gained worldwide acclaim for his dispatches from the frontlines, returns to London to work as a news bureau chief -- but leaves a piece of his heart buried forever in a Flanders grave. His Greville cousins have their own wartime scar...more
Laurel
After re-discovering The Passing Bells – after a thirty year estrangement – I was thrilled to learn there were two more books in the Greville Family Saga. Originally published between 1978 – 1986, this welcome reissue of the trilogy by William Morrow Books is just in time for fans of the popular television series Downton Abbey to plunge back into the era between the wars and cocoon themselves in history, drama and romance.

Set in England during 1921 – 1923, Circles of Time opens two years after t...more
Becky
The war to end all wars has finally come to an end and with it comes great change. For the Grevilles, though, it does mean something of a return to normalcy: Abingdon Pryory will soon be returned to its former glory and Lord Stanmore is anxious to return to the country estate. Alexandra, now widowed and with a young son in tow, has returned from overseas but there's tension between her and her father. Charles also has returned and is showing marked improvement. Meanwhile, Martin has taken a posi...more
Patty
Circles of Time is the second book in The Passing Bells Trilogy. This book picks up a few years after the end of WWI as each of the characters the reader met in the first book struggles to adjust to life in a world turned upside down by a war that killed millions.

Abingdon Pryory is being rebuilt by Lord Greville exactly as it was before the war. He plans to move back there once the renovations are done despite the fact that Lady Greville does not seem as anxious to move back to the country and t...more
Marcia
Circles of Time, the second novel in Phillip Rock's "Passing Bells" series, brings us back to the Greville family and their life post WWI. The world is evolving and great change is coming, yet the Earl of Stanmore wishes for the simpler times of the past.

Charles, the Earl's first born son and heir to the family estate, is suffering from severe PTSD that has caused him to withdraw and become noncommunicable. Hidden away in home up in Wales it becomes easy for the rest of the Greville family to p...more
Robin
This novel follows the main characters of the series in the years 1921-23. It begins with a shock. Ivy Thaxton Rilke died in the last gasps of the war. Martin Rilke is finally putting his life on track, and he is at the pinnacle of his career. Charles Greville is still locked away and Fenton Wood-Lacy is having to face the dire consequences of his actions at the end of The Passing Bells. Alexandra is back in England with a baby son and William Greville and his parents are not adjusting well to t...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I really haven't been able to breath since starting these books, the three novels that make up Philip Rock's Passing Bells trilogy. I am in serious love. (See my review of the first book for the start of my swooning fit.)

This book has a much tighter time span -- 1921 to 1923 -- and starts a year after the first book ends. Life in Britain has changed: the 'Jazz Age' has dawned, and the public starts to accept a more open discussion of the events of World War I. Rock covers an array of details in...more
Amanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin
So I enjoyed this one just as much as Passing Bells. I enjoyed that a lot of the story was set around Martin, he is a really good character. I would have liked a little bit more time spent with Fenton and Winnie but was glad how their story ended in the book. I also much preferred who Alex ended up with. Talk about right out of Downton. I wonder it this series was a source of inspiration for the writers of the series. I see quite a few parallels. Looking forward to the last book in the series.
Ann
Book #2 of the Passing Bells series is good but no where near Book #1. Character development is not nearly as acute and concise and important names to history are sprinkled about without any depth. This book is a story but little attention to the impact of "changing times" in history.
Pointsandwheels
this was a good coda to the lives of the people we met in The Passing Bells. Everyone finds their own way to cope with the horrors of the war, and everyone gets a happy ending.

Though it's the last part that irritated me; when you have a large group of characters, why is everyone happy and rich at the end? It felt like each group had been blessed with the authorial fairy wand of being able to observe the torments of the world, but not be harmed by them. It gave the story a very off feel by the en...more
Hotnjuicy Anne
The second book in the Passing Bells series is just as good as the first! It continues the story of the aristocratic Greville family and their family and friends in post-WW1 Britain. They like the rest of of British society are struggling with all the changes in the modern Britain in industry, society and politics. Rock writes with engaged prose and makes even the dryer passages enthralling. who knew I could be interested in British military strategy in 1920s Iraq? The characters are smart and i...more
Jen
As I watched the first season of Downtown Abbey, I turned to my husband on more than one occasion and said "hmm, this seems lifted from 'Passing Bells' - a book I'd read, loved and lost in the early 90s and my husband tracked down for me in hardcover. One of my fav comfort reads.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to read the sequel (and even more amazed to find out that part of the story moved to my very not British hometown). And, like so many sequels, it didn't have the punch of the first story....more
Donni
Continuing saga of the Grevilles and Wood-Lacys. WWI has ended, and the world is trying to repair. But society will ever be the same, now that valets have fought alongside lords!
Mary Beth
The sequel to The Passing Bells is more than passing good! The characters we came to love are back. This book lacks for nothing as the characters spin from war to peace and back again. I loved this book!
Julie
This is the 2nd book in the Greville family saga, billed as being similar to Downton Abbey in timeframe and addressing class issues. I liked this one better than the 1st book in the series. In the first book, I commented that I didn't like the characters. But the ones who have survived to the 2nd book are the nicer ones, so that's better. This books ends with Hitler's 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. There is one more book in this series, which I'm guessing will deal with the rising Nazi movement. Not a b...more
Marilyn
Riding on the coat-tails of Downton Abbey, this book takes place in the same time period and covers some tf the same topics. Enjoyable and fast read.
Katie
The Abington Pryory saga continues! The story picks up shortly after WWI, and finds each of our characters recovering form the war in different ways. Life has significantly changed, and the old world of parties, servants, and defined class roles are gone. As the younger generation begins to change daily life, the older one starts to, reluctantly, adapt to this new way of thinking. The depth of despair and ruin of Germany is explored - and knowing the fate of the country comes as no surprise. Lov...more
Diane
Was not into the constant journalistic on-goings of Martin. Looking forward to #3 in series A Future Arrived.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 33 34 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Last Summer
  • Beautiful Lies
  • Godiva
  • One Fine Day
  • The Kept Girl
  • Clair de Lune: A Novel
  • The Queen's Rivals
  • Habits of the House (Love & Inheritance Trilogy, #1)
  • India Black and the Rajah's Ruby
  • Isabella: Braveheart of France
  • A Bloom in Winter (Summerset Abbey, #2)
  • Waiting for Robert Capa
  • Daughter of the Sky
  • The Raven's Heart
  • Fear in the Sunlight (Josephine Tey, #4)
  • Into Temptation (The Spoils of Time, #3)
  • The Light Years
  • Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season One
67389
Phillip George Rock was born in Los Angeles on 30 July 1927. He grew up in Beverly Hills and England, returned to America in 1940, and served in the U.S. Navy towards the end of World War II.

His first on-screen credit was for Escape from Fort Bravo (1953), directed by John Sturges and starring William Holden and Eleanor Parker. Rock then concentrated on writing novels and, in 1967, published his...more
More about Phillip Rock...
The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1) A Future Arrived (Passing Bells, #3) Dirty Harry Hickey & Boggs The Cheyenne Social Club

Share This Book