Ann's Reviews > The Light Years

The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard
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's review
Sep 20, 09

bookshelves: novel
Recommended to Ann by: Amy Hirschkron
Read in March, 2009

I've read 3 of the four books in the series now. Marking Time and Confusion follow this one, and Casting Off is the last.

These books are extremely well-written, very engrossing and quite entertaining. (Usually the words "multi-generational saga" are enough to make me set the book aside, unless specifically recommended to me.)

This is the story of the three grown children and their children who all retreat to the parent's large country home to get through WWII. In addition to the family, other characters include family servants and retainers, friends, in-laws, and as the children grow up through the books, their friends, lovers and spouses.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the books is that the author tells much of the story from the perspective of the children, ranging in age from 6 to early teens, and older. The children are articulate, funny, and sensitive, and provide a welcome and interesting counterpoint to the adult experience. The elderly characters, especially the aging governess, Mrs. Milliment (who I love), are also very well done.

Wonderful books - I can't wait for the fourth and last to arrive.

Another great recommendation from Amy! Thanks to her, between Olivia Manning's Balkan and Levant Trilogies, and these 4 Cazalet Chronicles, I will have read 10 books about British life in WWII.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Beth I like your review. It's spot on.

I have also read Olivia Manning's Balkan Trilogy and The Levant Trilogy, and loved them. I think I still
like The Cazelet Chronicles more, though.


message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura I think I've read the entire Cazelet Chronicles about 5 times through. I love the characters and enjoy going back to visit!


Beth I have all four books on tape - the unabridged version. I listen to them at night when I'm trying to get to sleep. (Not that they're dull - it's just that I love them and it relaxes me).

Where are you from? I'm from St. Paul, MN. I bought these books 10 yeas ago in Barnes and Noble, and haven't seen them there since.


message 4: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann I'm in the SF Bay Area - I ordered 2 from Amazon, and I think they arrived from some used bookstore. And 2 I picked up at a used bookstore here. I also liked the Cazalet Chronicles better than the Manning books, although I'm glad I read the manning books too.


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