Confusion : The Cazalet Chronicles

  • by Elizabeth Jane Howard
  • Narrated by Jill Balcon
  • Series: The Cazalet Chronicles
  • 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This, the third volume of the best-selling The Cazalet Chronicles, takes up the story of the Cazalet family in the spring of 1942 and follows them through the war to VE Day. Polly and Clary have left Home Place for London where Archie Lestrange keeps a close eye on them; Louise, surprisingly, has married; Polly makes a painful discovery; Zoe, despairing of Rupert's return, stumbles on solace; and Edward's duplicity demands a reckoning.

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What the Critics Say

"Lush, sprawling escapist fiction of the first order....Howard creates a nearly palpable world, peopled with the sort of well-conceived characters that linger long in the reader's mind." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Addictive, Easy, Indulgent

I had never heard of this series until Audible, cleverly, kept suggesting it to me. I am now on this, the third book of the series and hopelessly addicted.

The characters are (almost) all frightfully posh, very privileged and insulated from 'real life' in so many ways. The war comes as a terrible shock, and yet, with their huge country house to escape to, plus many grand London homes and mansion flats, they cope.

The things I like are the rattling plot lines - though in this volume, I am getting very tired of the children so often leading the narration. It's OK to see life through the eyes of 10 year old Neville now and then, but not as much as this. Otherwise, the plot lines, of which there are dozens, really get along at a good pace.

I also like the way the characters are presented. I don't LIKE a good many of them, but that's not a problem. Also, and cleverly, they are allowed to develop and mature as the volumes progress.

I also like the narration. I see from reviews that whilst many agree, some do not, and I can see why. But this narrator, with a cut-glass style (thus, she struggles a bit with servants' voices, but it's not too bad) does really suit the utterly upper-middle class setting.

Sometimes I have been annoyed by bits of the story, but if I'm really honest, it's an effortless listen, a posh family soap. My next 2 credits are due today and I am going to get the last 2 volumes. Addiction. But I am going to force myself to listen to a gory murder or a history book first to refresh my palette!
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- Alison

Disliked the narrator and the story

This is the 3rd of the unabridged 'Cazalet Chronicles' books read by Jill Balcon. I'd started to dislike her narration in book 2 ('Marking Time') but since I'd stupidly bought the whole 4-book set I ploughed on with it. The characters from this family saga who had interested me in book one ('The Light Years') were effectively sidelined in this book, as the focus moved almost exclusively to the 3rd generation of rather self-regarding young adults. Balcon's voice veers between deep and piping, depending on whether she's depicting adults or children, and unless I wore headphones I often missed what she said. I also found there weren't adequate pauses between different scenes - I thought I was listening to one group of people only to find that the story had moved on to somewhere entirely different. It shows how little variety there is in Balcon's reading for me not to spot the switch of location until several minutes had passed. I enjoyed neither the narration nor the story.
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- Knucklebones "Knucklebones"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-06-2005
  • Publisher: Audible Studios