The Light Years

The Cazalet Chronicles

Book 1
Open Road Media
Free sample

This “dazzling” novel follows a family of English aristocrats as their country teeters on the brink of World War II (Penelope Fitzgerald).

 As war clouds gather on the distant horizon, Hugh, Edward, and Rupert Cazalet, along with their wives, children, and loyal servants, prepare to leave London for their annual pilgrimage to the family’s Sussex estate. There, they will join their parents, William and Kitty, and sister, Rachel, at Home Place, the sprawling retreat where the three brothers hope to spend an idyllic summer of years gone by. But the First World War has left indelible scars.
 
Hugh, the eldest of his siblings, was wounded in France and is haunted both by recurring nightmares of battle and the prospect of another war. Edward adores his wife, Villy, a former dancer searching for meaning in life, yet he’s incapable of remaining faithful to her. Rupert desires only to fulfill his potential as a painter, but finds that love and art cannot coexist. And devoted daughter Rachel discovers the joys—and limitations—of intimacy with another woman.
 
A candid portrait of British life in the late 1930s and a sweeping depiction of a world on the brink of war, The Light Years is a must-read for fans of Downton Abbey. Three generations of the Cazalet family come to unforgettable dramatic life in this saga about England during the last century—and the long-held values and cherished traditions that would soon disappear forever.
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For fans of Downton Abbey: A multigenerational saga of an upper-middle-class British family before, during, and after World War II by a bestselling author.
 
As war clouds gather on England’s horizon, the Cazalet siblings, along with their wives, children, and servants, prepare to leave London and join their parents at their Sussex estate, Home Place. Thus begins the decades-spanning family saga that has engrossed millions of readers.
 
The Light Years: Hugh, the eldest of the Cazalet siblings, was wounded in France and is haunted by recurring nightmares and the prospect of another war. Edward adores his wife, a former dancer, yet he’s incapable of remaining faithful. Rupert desires only to fulfill his potential as a painter, but finds that love and art cannot coexist. And devoted daughter Rachel discovers the joys—and limitations—of intimacy with another woman.
 
Marking Time: Narrated primarily through the voices of teenagers Louise, Polly, and Clary, the second novel details the continuing story of their fathers. With the outbreak of war, Edward is determined to do his bit for England. But Hugh, injured in World War I, must sit back and watch other men fight for their country, including his brother Rupert, who enlists and goes missing in action.
 
Confusion: As the world reels in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the Cazalets are dealt a tragic blow, and a new generation struggles to find peace with each other, a peace that seems to prove as elusive as it is in the larger world.
 
Casting Off: The war is over, but for the Cazalets—and England—the challenges continue. Against the backdrop of a crumbling empire, the family soldiers on in the wake of disappointment, heartbreak, and tragedy. But the family comes together again as three generations of Cazalets struggle to hold onto Home Place, the beloved Sussex estate that has been their refuge and their heart.
 
All Change: In 1956, the death of eighty-nine-year-old matriarch Kitty “the Duchy” Cazalet marks the end of an era—and the commencement of great change for the family. And Home Place, the beloved Sussex estate where the Cazalets have gathered for years, is now a beloved relic that, with its faded wallpaper and leaky roof, has aged along with its occupants.
 
A rich historical read for those who love E. M. Forster, Evelyn Waugh, or Downton Abbey, this is the story of a family “[rendered] thrillingly three-dimensional by a master craftsman” (TheSunday Telegraph).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Apr 26, 2016
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Pages
578
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ISBN
9781504034913
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The women of the Cazalet family carry on while WWII casts its shadow over England as the saga by the award-winning author of The Light Years continues.

In the spring of 1942, after the attacks on Pearl Harbor have pulled America into the war, the world reels from the ever-increasing atrocities of the conflict. And in Sussex, at the Cazalet family estate known as Home Place, personal tragedies begin to take their toll.
 
Polly, reacting to the untimely death of her mother, flees her comfortable surroundings accompanied her cousin Clary. But the bustling life of London proves a test not only for their ability to live on their own but also for their once-close relationship.
 
Nineteen-year-old Louise believes she has found the man of her dreams in dashing naval officer Michael Hadleigh. After a whirlwind marriage and honeymoon, though, she begins to realize that being a young wartime bride is not the fairy tale she once presumed it would be.
 
With Rupert still missing in action, his second wife, Zoë, struggles to maintain hope that her husband will one day return. But when a handsome stranger offers her solace, she finds herself drawn into an inadvisable but sorely needed affair.
 
Confusion beautifully continues the sweeping family epic started in The Light Years and Marking Time, examining the struggles, passions, heartbreaks, and joys of three generations. Filled with profound reflections on a country torn apart by war and intimate glances into the lives of those left behind, this is a must-read novel for fans of Downton Abbey and lovers of wartime historical fiction.
From the internationally bestselling author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph.

The epic tale of Harry Clifton's life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war." A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father, but he learns about life on the docks from his uncle, who expects Harry to join him at the shipyard once he's left school. But then an unexpected gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life will never be the same again.

As he enters into adulthood, Harry finally learns how his father really died, but the awful truth only leads him to question, was he even his father? Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who spent his whole life on the docks, or the firstborn son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line?

This introductory novel in Archer's ambitious series The Clifton Chronicles includes a cast of colorful characters and takes us from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry must decide whether to take up a place at Oxford or join the navy and go to war with Hitler's Germany. From the docks of working-class England to the bustling streets of 1940 New York City, Only Time Will Tell takes readers on a journey through to future volumes, which will bring to life one hundred years of recent history to reveal a family story that neither the reader nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.

Soon to be a Major Motion Picture Starring Tom Hanks 

National Book Award Finalist—Fiction

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.

The intimate and revealing memoir of the woman behind the bestselling Cazalet Chronicles and a fascinating window into the British literary world.
 
One of Britain’s most famous and beloved authors, Elizabeth Jane Howard’s life was as rich, varied, and passionate as the characters in her novels. In her brutally honest, at times humorous, wholly captivating autobiography, the woman who felt she lived “in the slipstream of experience” employs her prodigious skills as a novelist to chart the course of an eventful life—including three marriages, multiple affairs, and friendships with the literary giants of the day, among them Kenneth Tynan and Cecil Day-Lewis.
 
Born in 1923 to bohemian parents within a large Edwardian family, Howard was raised in privilege and security. Educated at home from the age of eleven, she enjoyed short-lived careers as a model, an actress, and an editor before she found her métier as a novelist. She gained invaluable experience growing up in a time bookended by two world wars and enjoyed a level of independence denied an earlier generation of British women.
 
In her memoir, Howard writes with painful candor about her introduction to sex—her father abused her when she was fifteen—and her marriage to Peter Scott, son of the famed British explorer, along with her tempestuous third marriage to Kingsley Amis. She delves into complicated romantic and family relationships, inviting the reader to accompany her on her search for truth in life.
 
Featuring cameos by William Faulkner, Rosamond Lehmann, Evelyn Waugh, Charlie Chaplin, Paul Scofield, and many others, Slipstream finally illuminates a struggle common to women writers of every time and place: carving out a room of one’s own.
 
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