Titles in This Set
The Light Years
Something in Disguise
Odd Girl Out
Getting it Right
The Light Years
Every summer, brothers Hugh, Edward and Rupert Cazalet take their wives and children back their childhood home in the heart of the Sussex countryside. There, they join their formidable parents and unmarried sister Rachel for two months of glorious, sunlit days full of childish games and picnics on the beach. But not even this idyllic setting can alleviate heartache, fear and loneliness.
Hugh, haunted by memories of battle in France, is terrified at the prospect of another war. Handsome, charming Edward, who escaped the war unscathed, is more concerned with matters close at hand, but his wife Villy, desperately bored after her life as a dancer, is unaware of his continuous infidelities. Rupert, the talented painter, finds that he cannot paint and be married to his beautiful and demanding wife, Zoe. And Rachel is so loyal to her family that she has no time to devote to Sid - the woman she feels so passionately about...
As the shadows of the Second World War roll in, a new generation of Cazalets take up the family's story.
Louise, who dreams only of playing Hamlet, is brought brutally to the realisation that her parents have their own lives, too, with secrets, passions and yearnings.
Clary, who religiously documents all aspects of her life in diaries and letters, learns that her father, who was in the Navy, is now missing somewhere on the shores of France.
And sensitive, imaginative Polly feels stuck - stuck without a vacation, stuck without information about her mother's illness, without anything except for her nightmares about the war.
During the long, dark days of war, the divided and troubled Cazalets begin to find the battle for survival echoing the confusion in their own lives.
Headstrong, independent Louise surprises everyone by abandoning her dreams of the stage and making a society marriage. Unhappiness and loneliness, which have also plagued her mother's marriage, quickly settle in - Michael seems more interested in his ship and his mother, to whom he is extraordinary close, than in his young bride. And both Michael and his mother are desperate for her to become pregnant, a wish not shared by Louise.
Polly and Clary, now in their late teens, finally fulfil their ambition of living together in London. But the reality of the city is not quite as they hoped. Polly is having to come to terms with the death of her mother, as well as look after her grieving father. And Clary - clever, sharp Clary, acutely aware she is neither beautiful like Polly nor striking like Louise - is she the only Cazalet who seems to believe that her father might not be dead.
The older Cazalet cousins, now in their twenties, are trying to piece their lives together in the aftermath of the way whilst having to engage, painfully, with their parents as people for the first time. Louise's father Edward is desperate for her to like his mistress and her mother is beside herself with pain at his betrayal. And Clary needs to understand exactly why her beloved father chose to stay in France long after it was safe for him to return home.
Meanwhile the girls' own affairs are far from straightforward. Both Polly and Clary have fallen madly in love with much older men, both wildly unsuitable for different reasons. And Louise, stuck in a loveless marriage, is candidly considering her own options, as well as tending to her own, very private, grief.
It is the 1950s and as the Duchy, the Cazalets' beloved matriarch, dies, she takes with her the last remnants of a disappearing world - of houses withservants, 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...
As a new generation of Cazalets descend on Home Place, only one thing is certain: nothing will ever be the same again.
Something in Disguise
From the lauded, bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles,Something in Disguisepaints a candid picture of a family in crisis, from the ever witty Elizabeth Jane Howard.
May's second marriage to Colonel Herbert Brown-Lacy is turning out to be a terrible mistake. Her son, Oliver, leaves home only to drift from one affair to another; his sister Elizabeth follows him, yearning for some kind of secure relationship. While even Alice, Herbert's meek daughter, is driven into marriage to escape her father's sinister behaviour . . .
At once a candid depiction of a post-war family on the cusp of change and a touching love story,Something in Disguiseembodies the startling truth, wit and daring that Elizabeth Jane Howard is renowned for.
Odd Girl Out
From the lauded, bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles, inOdd Girl Out, Elizabeth Jane Howard reveals with devastating accuracy a marriage put in a most destructive situation.
Anna and Edmund Cornhill have a happy marriage and a lovely home. They are content, complete, absorbed in their private idyll.
Arabella, who comes to stay one lazy summer, is rich, rootless and amoral - and, as they find out, beautiful and loving.
With her elegant prose the author traces the web of love and desire that entangles these three; but it is Arabella who finally loses out.
From the bestselling author of the Cazelet Chronicles comes Elizabeth Jane Howard'sMr Wrong,a collection of short stories.
In this dazzling short story collection, includingMr Wrong,The DevotedandThree Miles Up, master storyteller, Elizabeth Jane Howard, illustrates her renowned style and delicious wit.
From a family Christmas, to a house-party in France, and a haunting journey into the macabre, Howard explores the subtle tensions of relationships; from flat-sharing to adultery. Funny, perceptive and spine-tingling, Howard's stories are sure to delight
Getting it Right
From the bestselling author of the Cazelet Chronicles comes Elizabeth Jane Howard'sGetting It Right,a touching comedy about a young man trying desperately to get it right.
Gavin - a sensitive, shy, hairdresser in the West End - is, at thirty-one, still a virgin. He's a classic late developer, and he's worried that it's getting too late to develop at all.
Then one night, Gavin finds himself at a penthouse party and meets people the likes of which he's never come across before. Suddenly, everything begins to change . . .
Over the next fortnight, Gavin might start, at last, to "get it right".
From the lauded, bestselling author ofThe Cazalet Chronicles,After Juliusis Elizabeth Jane Howard's funny yet touching story of a family brought together yet falling apart.
It is twenty years since Julius died, but his last heroic action still affects the lives of the people he left behind.
Emma, his youngest daughter, twenty-seven years old and afraid of men. Cressida, her sister, a war widow, blindly searching for love in her affairs with married men. Esme, Julius's widow, still attractive at fifty-eight, but aimlessly lost in the routine of her perfect home. Felix, Esme's old lover, who left her when Julius died and who is still plagued by guilt for his action. And Dan, an outsider.
Throughout a disastrous - and revelatory - weekend in Sussex, the influence of the dead Julius slowly emerges . . .
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