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Comments

Cathy

I have had this quartet sitting on my shelf for years; I think that now is a good time to actually read it, it all sounds great!

Aarti

I've never heard of this, but it sounds like the sort of series I could really immerse myself in. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention- I wonder if the video version is available on Netflix, too.

Caroline

This sounds very good. I have one of her books "After Julius". Susan Hill recommended it in her memoir. It didn't strike me as comfort read though? Has she written different types of books?
These sagas always have something so appealing but I'm not as courageous as you, they are sooo long..
It is certainly more interesting, or at least to me, when an author knew the time he/she writes about. More authentic.

Harriet

I read these ages ago and absolutely loved them. Ditto the memoir which is very interesting and very brave, I thought. For some reason we don't hear about EJH in the blogosphere, or I don't, anyway -- time for a revival, perhaps. Thanks for the reminder!

Liz F

I was first introduced to EJH back in the late 70's when I shared 'digs' while at journalism college with another trainee journalist who was in her mid-20's and rather more worldly-wise than me at 18!
EJH's early books are quite different from the Cazalet novels but since they were written more than thirty years apart, that isn't really surprising.
I liked the early books like The Beautiful Visit and The Long View, liked After Julius rather less and absolutely adored the first three Cazalet books although I haven't read Casting Off.
EJH is definitely a writer who deserves to have a revival!

Danielle

Cathy--Pull your copies out and start reading the first one! I think you'll really enjoy it. It's been long enough since I read the second book that it feels almost like a new story to me!

Aarti--It seems like something Netflix would have. She reminds me a little of Mary Wesley, if you've ever read her? I find EJH's books hugely addicting and am happy to recommend her to others!

Caroline--To be honest I've only read the Cazalet books, but from the comments below it sounds like there was a hiatus between her earlier and later books and perhaps the style/tone changed a bit as well. I find these comfort reads as they are sweeping family dramas--they deal with big issues, but maybe it's the way she writes about them? It's hard to explain--I guess just because she is someone I can pick up time and again to read and love being part of her world. These actually read very fast and you could easily separate them out so they wouldn't seem like too much of an undertaking (I know how the idea of big chunky and long books can seem overwhelming!). She was on the stage and lived during WWII and I think she must have drawn on her own life experiences. I loved her memoir Slipstream--you can see a lot of parallels in her life and fiction.

Harriet--I loved the memoir as well and could easily reread that, too. I think she is someone who gets overlooked--lots of people have read her years ago but not so much now. I think it wasn't even so long ago that she released her last book? Not sure if she is still writing--but she is certainly someone who deserves to be better known and read more. I think I might have to pick up some of her other books this year as well.

Liz--That would have been a great time to be introduced to EJH--she seems just as smart and wordly-wish in her novels. I'm not sure how I came across her--I think the bookstore where I used to work carried her novels and I just found them there whilst browsing--I'm glad I did! Interesting about her other fiction--I've only read the Cazalet books but I do have a few others, which I hope to read this year--well, at least one of her others anyway. And this time around I do want to read Casting Off! Maybe she'll get a little boost via the blogosphere!

Kathy

I'm still amazed that there are authors that sound so wonderful that I've never heard of. Where have I been? I love comfort reads, and stories that give you a peek into others' lives. I'll have to add this to the list.

Stefanie

Sounds like a fun reread especially if you make it to the final book you haven't read yet. That will be good incentive :)

Liz F

I have a confession to make - my first attraction to EJH had rather more to do with the very attractive chocolate brown and sepia covers on the 1970's Penguin editions which were far more cool than the covers of the other books I was reading in those days!

Of course I soon came to appreciate her for the brilliantly stylish writer that she is, but it was definitely the chic covers that first caught my eye! They had the same style covers on the editions of novels by Jean Rhys so I read those too and very much enjoyed them!

It's very shallow of me but I still get seduced by a nice cover, which is why I bought new copies of Rebecca West's The Fountain Overflows and Winifred Holtby's South Riding even though I have perfectly serviceable, although not as prettily covered, copies already on my shelves!

Danielle

kathy--I feel the same way. I do lots and lots of looking but I still come across new books on blogs all the time. It's nice to know there is such a great selection, though--books to look forward to!

Stefanie--I AM going to get to that last book. It may take me all year to get through them (though no hardship at all as these are a pleasure to read), but I will keep on with them!

Liz--I've heard how nice the cover illustrations were for the earlier editions--I really must look for them to at least see them. I'm a sucker too, for a good book cover. She is very stylish and the stories are so inviting--it's quite nice to be in her world for a while. I've not read Jean Rhys for years now that you mention her--another author on my list that I must revisit. And must raise hand to say I bought a couple of Winifred Holtby's reissues with the nice just jackets (including South Riding which I already owned...). There's nothing wrong with having more than one copy of a book...right?

litlove

Oh how I adored this series! I would love to read it again, only I realise I only have one of the volumes here. I think my mother has gone off with the rest and will have to get them back somehow! Lovely review, Danielle.

Danielle

Litlove--I'm now into the second book and I seem to have forgotten most of the story--which I guess is a good thing as now it will be like reading a new book. She's an author I am happy revisiting. Not sure what it is about her writing, but the stories are always so absorbing!

Buried In Print

Oh, I can't tell you how many times I've done that, started to re-read a series with the intention of finally, properly, finishing it, doing it justice. My most recent attempt to restore such a situation is with Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet; I just finished re-reading A Wrinkle in Time last week, but haven't yet started to re-read the second, so I might well be following the same (bad) habit again myself. Hope you can finally succeed with the fourth of the Cazelets.

Danielle

Buried in Print--I am determined this time (she said confidently). I have been reading the second one on my lunch break and it is just as enjoyable as the first book. The problem is (as always) so many other books that take precendence over this one due to readalongs or library due dates, but I am going to try and stick with it (not that is a hardship in any way...). The carrot dangling in front of me is being able to finally(!) watch the TV adaptation!

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