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Confusion (Cazalet Chronicles, #3)
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(Cazalet Chronicles #3)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  3,403 ratings  ·  271 reviews
In the third novel of England's Cazalet family, Elizabeth Howard moves through the dark, middle days of World War II to May 8, 1945, VE Day. Along the way, her beloved characters painfully come of age: Polly and Clary fall for the same man, Louise suffers childbirth alone, and Zoe conducts an affair with American airman.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 1st 1995 by Washington Square Press (first published November 5th 1993)
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Johanne That wasn't Zoe, it was someone he had a relationship with in France. He left her and their child to return to England.

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Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This third novel of the Cazalet Chronicles quintet is aptly named Confusion. It covers a period of time when WWII has intensified, and all able bodies are called upon to serve their countries. Some countries switch allegiances, some move from neutrality to battle in their own ways, and resistance forces within many countries under seige are increasing their efforts to aid the Allies.

The privations of civilians are everywhere – in the battling countries, in the neutral countries, and with trade
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful continuation of the Cazalet story. This is a wonderful family. Through all their troubles, they see themselves as part of a whole.
I'm a sucker for generational family sagas. I like getting to know the characters, watching them grow up & develop their personalities, to marry and have children, who then continue the saga in future books.
This saga is more contained and covers the family over 3 generations and, as yet, all three generations are still alive, which makes for an inter
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was like meeting dear old friends after some time apart and finding they were still all right.
May 07, 2017 marked it as not-for-me
Shelves: hf, ww2, great-britain, series
On completion of Marking Time, the previous book in the series, I came to the conclusion that I did not want to continue. My review of that book explains why. I thought my notes covering what has occurred in the previous two books before Confusion might help others.

Cazalet Family Tree :
(as of the conclusion of Marking Time, where Confusion begins, which is to say December 1941 after Pearl Harbor)

lrw = love relationship with
fw = friend with

William Cazalet = Brig (born 1860)
-brother-in -law of Flo who dies/>William/>:
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge
It's more than a year since I finished the first 2 books in this series. I very much enjoyed reading this third book. Two more to go.

Initially I was a bit uncomfortable reading about a 'privileged ' family, because so many of the things that they found difficult seem so minimal compared to 'ordinary ' families. However, I've now got used to that.

I'm really impressed with how Elizabeth Jane Howard has managed to create so many family members, each with individual personali
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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, "Casting Off"! But now I look back on everything I've read in 2015, I can honestly say that this series is the best of all.

Re-read this as an audiobook, which is a different experience altogether - still find it sublime!
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I loved this installment of the series. Again, the stories are told primarily from the viewpoint of the three oldest girls - Polly, Louise, and Clary. Although now approaching 20, each feels as if the adults still treat them as children. Louise has been working in repertory theater and has matured. Polly and Clary, still so very close, lobby for the right to embark on their own lives and win the right to live in London.

It is wartime, with its rationing and coupons. Fabric for dresses
Giulia (juliareadingdiary)

In this volume, the Cazalets go through the last years of WWII; the novel therefore covers three years (1942-'45), one year more than the other two chapters of the saga, and in less pages. The narration gets back into focusing on the whole set of characters, in a choral way like in The Light Years, without the privileged POVs of Marking Time.

This means that we witness fragmented and incomplete scenes, popping in and out of all the different lives, and this creates con
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-in-wartime
Sometimes when authors are writing family sagas, they run out of steam after the second book. Not so with Elizabeth Jane Howard. Her characters remain as interesting and complex in this third book about the Cazalet family as they were in the first and second books. This one begins in 1942 so there is all the tension and drama of the war as well. The author does a particularly good job of showing how people react to events -- some cope, others not so well. Excellent summertime reading.
Tessa Arlen
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am continuing on with Volume 3 of Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalet Chronicles: a quintet of novels about the shifting fortunes of a large and well-to-do family during the Second World War.

'Confusion' deals with the entrenched dreariness of the WW2 years at home (England). Recounts very little of the horrors of war itself, but concentrates on the business of making food and clothing coupons stretch, making clothes out of curtains and the fear of being hit by a Doodle-bug if you venture up to Lo
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So far this is the best of the Cazalet chronicles. I was reading it last night and I couldn't put it down. Elizabeth Jane Howard has managed to weave an amazing story with so many great characters. It has given me a better understanding of the second WW and how it touched people's lives; the rationing; the despair; the heartache of missing loved ones; yet every character is unique. It takes a while to get into this saga with all the family members but it's worth it. This now ranks as one of my t ...more
Sadie Slater
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'd been putting off reading the third of the Cazalet Chronicles, because I wasn't quite sure I wanted to read about people living through the grimness of World War Two when the world seemed to be falling apart around me. Actually, though, the grimness seems less obvious in this one than it did in Marking Time; it begins in 1942, three years into the war, and where the last book showed how life changed in the early years of the war, in this one it feels more like a steady state which people have got ...more
Gail Amendt
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best of the series thus far! This third volume deals with the fortunes and misfortunes of the extended Cazalet family during the later years of WWII, from 1942-1945. The children we first came to know in the late 1930's are now coming of age and attempting to make their way in a very confusing time. We watch the family cope with rationing, absent loved ones and uncertainty, and most of all, the complicated romantic relationships that tended to occur during the war years. No on ...more
Rosemary Morris
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Confusion, the third volume in Elizabeth Jane Howard’s acclaimed Cazalet Chronicles, begins when Polly sorts out her late mother’s possessions. When she sees the long row of tightly packed clothes she dreads touching them. “It was as though she would be colluding in the inexorable departure, the disappearance that had been made alone and for ever and against everyone’s wishes.’

Yet, life must go on, the Cazalets, including Polly, must move forward, and, indeed they do from March 1942
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this third installment of the Cazalet Chronicles, WWII grinds on, sowing mischief and discord better than a capricious Greek god. Of course, this is what it seems like relative to the well-off Cazalets and the chaos of their romantic lives. Toward the end of the novel, as bombing intensifies and knowledge of the concentration camps finally becomes public, the atmosphere darkens considerably. Our three leading ladies, now in their late teens and early twenties, are all thrown into confusion—Lo ...more
Cathy Bryant
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Howard is one of those rare authors who could write about anyone - a group of people at a bus station or in a cafe or anywhere, and the result would be fascinating. This is because she had a fine ear for dialogue, great emotional maturity and the ability to capture a human being in a few words - rather as a master artist can draw a likeness in three swift lines. So to have our favourite family, the Cazalets, experiencing the home front of the Second World War, and their lives and activities shar ...more
Mar 11, 2010 rated it liked it
1. Light Years 2. Marking Time 3. Confusion 4. Casting Off
The Cazelet Chronicles about the Cazelet family. There are three brothers and their families. Many people in stories between 1937-1947 in London. Each part was told by a different person. Great. Must read author again.
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This series gets better as it goes along. Perhaps it is because one gets to know the characters or it is because many of those female characters who were children in the first book are now adults. One gets a good sense of the war and the effect it has on individuals and on culture itself.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am really loving the Cazalet saga, and I have enjoyed Confusion very much, as the focus is very much shifted back to the individual stories of the members of the family. I am totally hooked and cannot wait to move on to Casting off.
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Third book in the four volume Cazalet Chronicles. This one takes us from 1942 to the end of the war in Europe. Once again, it's not wildly exciting, but I am so wrapped up in these characters lives, I raced through the book. Excellent family saga stuff.
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Found it, Claire! Will read it and pass on...
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a great series this is!
Michael Tweed
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Superb series by A very classy author.
Jane Gregg
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Astonishingly good. An emotional punch delivered with mid century modern style. Superb.
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii-england, england
This book was far easier for me to get through than the previous two. I'm assuming it's because I'm finally familiar enough with the characters to know who is who (the family trees at the beginning of each book are very helpful, too).

I wanted to rate it 4 stars, but for some reason, I just couldn't. Howard's descriptions are impeccable, and her writing is so beautifully done, I'm not 100% sure why I feel I can only give Confusion 3 stars. One thing I took issue with is having to read
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fic-not-sci-fi
Book three in the series continues the completely immersive experience. And being three books it, I am finding it a bit easier to read quickly despite reading about places and people so far from my experience because I am used to the characters and author's writing style by now. I continue to enjoy the variety of first person POVs which mean each characters' sections require flashbacks to fill in the holes.

Even though the girls are no longer girls and have finally move out of Home Pl
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's amazing that these books can continue to be consistent in nearly every thing that's important: quality, style, tempo. While I have one caveat (Miss Milliment has always been one of my favorite characters and I'm a bit disappointed that she plays next to no role at all in this book), I'm every bit as touched by Confusion as I have been by the previous two Cazalet novels.

Part of what makes the books so damned good is the style in which they're written. It's quite difficult to describe, but they seem
Sandra Danby
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This, the third in the five-book series which is The Cazalet Chronicles, covers March 1942 to July 1945, again we see the family’s experiences through the teenage eyes of Polly, Louise and Clary. Much has changed now as the war progresses, particularly affecting the role of women, the breakdown of class barriers, the empowerment of working women and educated poor.
These books are quite a social history of a period which more often is the reserve of thrillers and spy novels. Elizabeth Jane H
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the third in the chronicle and I'm going to continue with the 3 stars ratings. I'm enjoying it and it gets a little easier as it goes because the people are more familiar but something about the way she sets up paragraphs leaves me cold. I am not always positive who we are reading about until I've read a few lines because she isn't very clear about that; now if I could just read without stopping it might be more evident but since that is not likely, I find the writing a bit cumbersome. ...more
It’s been a few months since I’ve read the second book in the series, so when I started Confusion I had a couple of moments where I couldn’t remember who some people were, but for the most part I had most of the characters and the events vivid in my mind, sign that the Cazalet family has made an impression on me. Indeed, with every book I find myself more and more involved in their stories, and Confusion is definitely my favourite so far.

Elizabeth Jane Howard's writing is excellent, especially the introspective
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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

Other books in the series

Cazalet Chronicles (5 books)
  • The Light Years (Cazalet Chronicles, #1)
  • Marking Time (Cazalet Chronicles, #2)
  • Casting Off (Cazalet Chronicles, #4)
  • All Change (Cazalet Chronicles, #5)
“It seemed awful that the only things she knew about him were those that made him miserable.” 2 likes
“conducting in a church in London where, he said,” 0 likes
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