The Light Years

  • by Elizabeth Jane Howard
  • Narrated by Jill Balcon
  • 16 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The tangled lives of three generations evoke a vanished world in this, the first volume of the Cazalet Chronicle.
Home Place, Sussex, 1937. The English family at home.... For two unforgettable summers, they gathered together, safe from the advancing storm clouds of war. In the heart of the Sussex countryside, these were still sunlit days of childish games, lavish family meals, and picnics on the beach.
Three generations of the Cazalet family played out their lives - with their relatives, their children and their servants - and the fascinating triangle of their affairs....


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A snapshot of pre-WW2 upper middle class life

As the first in a quartet of novels I really enjoyed this book. The writing was excellent and drew me in quickly to the lives of the well-to-do Cazelet family, with their individual London homes as well as their large family home in Sussex. The individual characters in the story are all interesting, with the aging Brig and Duchy as heads of the family, plus their 3 children and their spouses, all in their 30s when this saga opens. It was well read by Jill Balcon who was a friend of the author. Two warnings, though. Firstly there are so many characters in the novel (20+) and the story switches so frequently from one family set to another, that I finally resorted to sketching out a family tree so I could keep track! Also, if you enjoyed listening to this book, don't make the same mistake I did of purchasing all 3 of the remaining volumes at once. My enjoyment rapidly diminished as the focus of the saga moved from the 2nd generation featured in this book to their children in the remaining novels.
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- Knucklebones

Seriously addictive

I'm not normally into 'sweeping family sagas' but had heard some of the abridged Cazelet series acted out on the radio, and wanted to hear the full version. Jill Balcon is a wonderful reader, her characterisations are so unique to each person that one forgets one is listening to a single narrator. Since listening to The Light Years I am eagerly looking forward to hearing the remaining three volumes.
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- Avril

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-07-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios