Publication year: 2013
Media class: Hardback
Publisher: London : Mantle, 2013.
ISBN: 0230743072 9780230743076 (hbk): 18.99
It is the 1950s and as the Cazalets beloved matriarch, the Duchy, passes away, she takes with her the last remnants of a world of great houses and servants, 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.
Series title: Cazalet chronicles ; 5
No. of reservations: 0
When I chose this title for our book group I was unaware that it was the last of five books, so at first we spent a lot of time referring to the family tree because it was hard to memorise the names of all the different families and their members. The Cazalet clan have come through WWII with reasonable success and kept the family firm going. As they move into the late fifties, social and political changes move too fast for them to comprehend, and the final ignominy of bankruptcy forces them all to re-assess family relationships and their place in the world. The story is very skilfully told in an understated manner and the natural reserve of the characters comes out through their conversation. It was not easy to sympathise with the adult characters who all seemed rather self-absorbed, but the children's lives and relationships are beautifully described. On average we gave it 8/10.
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