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Marking Time (Cazalet Chronicles #2)

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,616 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Librarian note: alternate covers for this edition can be found here and here.

At Home Place, the windows are blacked out and food is becoming scarce as a new generation of Cazalets takes up the story. Louise dreams of being a great actress, Clary is an aspiring writer, while Polly, is burdened with knowledge and the need to share it. This is the sequel to The Light Years.
Paperback, 452 pages
Published November 5th 1993 by MacMillan General Books (first published November 1991)
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Beth Bonini
Feb 26, 2011 Beth Bonini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first novel in the Cazalet Chronicles captured -- and held -- my interest, but it was almost too sprawling. I didn't mind that there were so many characters, but I didn't need the story to be told from so many points-of-view. I approved, then, of how Howard starts narrowing her family saga to largely concentrate on the three adolescent girls of the family: Louise, Polly and Clary.

This novel covers the first years of the war, and the reader is uncomfortably aware of what a really long haul it
La Stamberga dei Lettori
"C'è veramente tanto di "tutto" in questo Il tempo dell'attesa: la guerra, l'universo delle famiglie patriarcali, il rapporto fra i sessi, solo per citare alcune delle mille sfumature che si colgono nella lettura; per questo spiace sapere che l'autrice stia raggiungendo una fama internazionale solo negli ultimi anni, "colpa", forse, dell'aver scritto una saga familiare che dà ampio spazio al punto di vista femminile, caratteristica sufficiente a catalogarla nella categoria dei "romanzi per donne ...more
Apr 28, 2016 (P)Ila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mi mancava la famiglia Cazalet e ad appena due mesi dalla lettura de Gli anni della leggerezza la curiosità ha preso il sopravvento e ho fatto ritorno ad Home Place. Il tempo dell'attesa è un secondo volume più che degno del primo, anzi direi quasi migliore, le aspettative erano altissime e non sono state per nulla deluse.

A differenziare i due volumi c'è una nuova struttura perchè, se nel precedente volume i pensieri e le azioni di tutti i personaggi erano gestiti abbastanza egualmente, qui la H
May 29, 2016 Ilaria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"È tutto questo aspettare: aspettare di diventare grande, aspettare che la guerra vada peggio o meglio, o che finisca."

Il tempo dell'attesa è il secondo romanzo della saga dei Cazalet, grazie alla Fazi abbiamo l'opportunità di scoprire un'autrice quasi sconosciuta ma dal grande talento come la Howard. La storia dei Cazalet riprende un anno dopo gli eventi narrati nel primo volume, ci troviamo agli inizi della Seconda Guerra mondiale e la narrazione prosegue circa fino all'anno dell'attacco a Pea
Dec 29, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e, historical-fiction
I didn't have time to write a review of this when I finished it... Too much in a hurry to read the follow-up, "Confusion"! But now I look back on everything I've read in 2015, I can honestly say that this series is the best of all.
Sep 13, 2009 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been at a loss all weekend since finishing this on Friday. There I'll be, sitting on the couch, idly thinking about nothing much, which will remind that, oh, I wonder what's going to happen next in Marking Time? And then I'll remember I've finished it. I guess that's the problem with reading books in series: even though they're finished they're nowhere near finished. At any rate, had book 3 been on my shelf I'd be two-thirds of the way through it by now. Instead I've been staring wistfully ...more
By some miracle, I've managed to read all 452 pages of this brilliant book in ten hours. It's nearly 7am now. Getting very over-emotional and weepy about certain characters (as well as from lack of sleep), but I have no regrets. Am going book-shopping today; sufficed to say, Confusion is now top of my list.
Nov 01, 2012 Jen rated it really liked it
The second of the Cazalet chronicles; it is 1939 and war has just broken out. The Cazalet family are variously struggling to deal with the tension of the so-called Phony War, and all the pressures and worries that this brings to the surface. I only discovered this series by chance when my mum borrowed the first one from the library and I read it in a single sitting. I feel this is a good example of writing from a shifting perspective that works very well, and it moves quickly without being confu ...more
Kate Quinn
Jul 18, 2009 Kate Quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 of an unusual series. The Cazalet Chronicle follows an upper-class British family called the Cazalets over a period of about ten years, from just before World War II through the end of the war. There are three brothers; a shy scholar scarred from the horrors of World War I, a dashing womanizer who races through war and women alike, and a lanky charmer wistful that he was too young for the previous war. There are various children, parents, servants, and they all get their chance to present ...more
Sadie Slater
May 28, 2016 Sadie Slater rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second of Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalet Chronicles spans the period from the declaration of war in 1939 to Pearl Harbor. Like the first, the viewpoint moves from character to character, with every member of the extended Cazalet family, apart from the babies, getting at least one section, although this time there's more of a focus on Louise, Clary and Polly, growing into young women during the war years, all feeling that they are "marking time" somehow, no longer children but not able to em ...more
Jul 21, 2015 Elinor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-in-wartime
Just finished the second book of the Cazalet Chronicles, and can't wait to start on the third. I'm now so involved in the lives of this English family that feel as if I know them. I'm already dreading turning the last page of the fifth and final book in the series. Highly entertaining family saga.
Mar 09, 2015 Claude rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-fiction, e
Wonderful writing and storytelling. I found the second part of the Cazalet Chronicles even better than the first. There are heart-rending passages that brought tears to my eyes. Looking forward to reading Confusion
Holly  S.
Feb 16, 2009 Holly S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book in the series continue to revolve around the large Cazalet family during the early years of WWII in England. Much of the story is told through the children's perspective, which is at times amusing, honest and touching. The characters are so well developed I felt I knew them.

I'm starting the third novel now. I have heard there is a Masterpiece Theater miniseries as well, which I will add to my Netflix queue as a reward when I finish the series.
Jan 11, 2015 Pam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continues the story of the Cazalets and how they cope with the war that is now a real war. This volume deals with 1939 thru 1941 and the attack on Pearl Harbor. The children are growing up and we see how each character lives and the changes that come along both within the family and the world. The problem with a saga is that as each book is finished, there is never any ending because the next book continues the story and because this author writes overlong paragraphs with much description it bec ...more
Jun 28, 2012 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england
I liked the first volume of the series, and this one was better. The points of view were more focused and seeing the events from the perspective of the three young girls was very effectively handled. Howard is quite good at dissecting the pretenses and secrets between and among everyone, not judgementally but as an observer. I can't wait to jump in to the next one, and already feel a hint of the regret that I will feel when I have read them all.
Kiwi Sarah
Another very enjoyable read in the "saga" of the Cazalet family - the characters are so well defined and the description of life during the war seems very realistic and not idealised - the title Marking Time which reoccurs through the voice of a number of characters is a good description of how frustrating living in this situation must have been for people not directly involved in the "fighting" part of the war. Very poignant in places.
Gail Amendt
I enjoyed this second installment of the Cazalet Chronicles almost as much as the first. This book picks up soon after the previous one, right at the beginning of WWII, as the extended Cazalet family and their household begin to contemplate how the war will affect them. Like the previous book, this one tells the story from many points of view...the young, the middle aged, the elderly and the servants. However, in this book the bulk of the story is told from the point of view of the three teenage ...more
Oct 21, 2015 Lexie rated it it was amazing
Marking Time is the second of the Cazalet books- set in 1940-41 and this time, mainly focusing on the teenage Polly, Louise and Clary. Louise is trying to make it as an actress at the same time discovering that her father is not perfect and falling in love for the first time. Dear, sensitive Polly is trying to navigate her own path, comparing her own lack of direction with her cousins' very clear plans, whilst being desperately worried for her seriously ill mother, Sybil. Thoughtful, introspecti ...more
Susan Zinner
Dec 30, 2011 Susan Zinner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2nd in the Cazalet series; love this look at how ordinary Britons survived WWII and were still able to deal with ordinary life (births, deaths, dating, family life, etc.). Not a lot "happens," but I love the exploration of ordinary life in the U.K. in the 1940s with the potentially dangerous backdrop of bombing in London, etc.
May 03, 2014 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii-england
Honestly, I can't decide between 3 or 4 stars. I think this series is beautifully written and I love how much more in depth this particular book goes with the development of each character (especially the children). However, I suppose my only real complaint is just when I would start to get invested in the life of one character, the chapter/section would end and pick up with another one. I understand some people like that, I suppose it's just my personal preference not to switch perspectives so ...more
Annabelle Heap
Jul 18, 2015 Annabelle Heap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 2nd of the Cazelet Chronicles - I'd actually give this 3 1/2 stars.
The title of this book is very apt - almost every character is stuck, slowed down by the war, unable to move on or seemingly grow up.
Although not a ripping read, this book sucks you into the shambolic life of the Cazelets who have all been thrown together by the war. All living in one big house in the country, they are rather cushioned from its worst effects - despite being in Kent and hearing the guns across the channel.
Chronicles of a British family from slightly before WWII until the late 40s. Amazing detail of the place and time, great character development. Much of this series is autobiographical of E.J. Howard's own privileged upbringing and experiences during the war. Complete engrossing.
Jan 14, 2014 Yeemay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure if the first book had just been a fluke but I'm utterly captivated now. There were moments when I actually wished I was IN the book, something I hadn't felt since I was a child! It was such a wonderfully detailed examination of character, life, death, love and the impact of living through the war. Family life and relationships were depicted with such insight, poignancy, wisdom and honesty. There were things I had forgotten I had felt or experienced as a child suddenly evoked, the a ...more
Jun 15, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it as much as the first book, The Light Years. It gave me a better understanding of what it might have been like to live in the countryside in England during WWII. I like books that follow through several generations. I am looking forward to Book 3.
Feb 18, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second in the series chronically the Cazalet family during WWII. Once again, the book isn't wildly exciting but I am so enmeshed in the lives of this family now that I couldn't put it down. I'm looking forward to the next one.
Suzanne Garrison
Feb 07, 2015 Suzanne Garrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirsty Darbyshire
May 21, 2014 Kirsty Darbyshire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
A bit less rambling than the first in the series, not sure whether that's a good thing or not now! I quite like the fact that the story switches endlessly from the point of view of one character to another; and I also quite like how the three teenage girls, Louise, Polly & Clary got their own chapters so they had more than a page or two to develop; but I'm not sure the two went together that well and I missed some of the minor characters from the first book. And there's not really a storylin ...more
Jan 07, 2011 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these books. A long, detailed day-to-day story about a large, extended English family at the outbreak of WWII. There are 4 or 5 in the series. Just my cup of tea.
Sep 29, 2014 Martine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I also struggled a bit with the first book in the series, but as I am really interested in the period I kept going. Having read the second, Marking Time, I now feel that it was worth the effort. Howard had to set out her stall, if you like, in that first novel. Having introduced the reader to all the characters, she is now able to develop their individual stories.
This one starts in March 1942 and as always when I read about the second world war, I try not to lose sight of the fact that it is al
For a review of the entire Cazalet Chronicle series, see[return]
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Elizabeth Jane Howard, CBE, was an English novelist. She was an actress and a model before becoming a novelist. In 1951, she won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for her first novel, The Beautiful Visit. Six further novels followed, before she embarked on her best known work, a four novel family saga (i.e., The Cazalet Chronicles) set in wartime Britain. The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, and ...more
More about Elizabeth Jane Howard...

Other Books in the Series

Cazalet Chronicles (5 books)
  • The Light Years (Cazalet Chronicles, #1)
  • Confusion
  • Casting Off
  • All Change

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