The Light Years

By Elizabeth Jane Howard,

Book cover of The Light Years

Book description

The Light Years is a modern classic of twentieth-century English life in the countryside, and is the first novel in Elizabeth Jane Howard's extraordinary, bestselling family saga The Cazalet Chronicles.

Every summer, the Cazalet brothers - Hugh, Edward and Rupert - return to the family home in the heart of…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Light Years as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

These are five books about one English family over the course of World War Two and beyond. I read the whole series over the course of one glorious summer! There is a large cast of characters, yet each one is perfectly drawn by Howard, so much so that I still feel that all of them are people I once knew well, rather than imaginary constructs. It was fascinating to see how different each family member’s experience of war could be, mostly focusing on the home front and their emotional lives, rather than the war itself. It was the perfect inspiration…

Opening in the second half of the 1930s, this is the first in a five-book saga chronicling the extended Cazalet family living under the shadow of World War Two, based loosely on the author’s own life. We hear from a whole cast of characters, their loves, fears, and foibles: the children’s excitable, misguided take on war, and the adult’s version, when they know only too well. The different voices are distinct and relatable; the writing is a lesson in storytelling. Immersed in the almost-century old world of London and the Sussex countryside, I devoured the whole series, finishing one book…

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