Cazalets - first book is building up the plot - war getting ever closer, adultery, children growing up, unhappy parents etc. Much of the action in the later books is reported rather than "real time" - e.g. the story about one of the fathers in France is only given in full detail after his return.But as said, the detail is fascinating and there is always enough plot for you to want to turn the next page/start the next chapter or book. It is a fabulous series (EJW is writing a sequel at the moment) and if you read "Slipstream", her autobiography you can understand that is written very much from the perspective of the young girls who don't always know what is really going on.
They are serialising them on Radio 4. If you read them and her autobiography, you realise just how much of it is true. It is a family saga, of a upper middle class family from before World War II until just after. Yes things happen, but they are not huge PLOT driven books, basically young girls grow up, family life changes through the War, babies are born, people die, secrets come out, the family continues.
Coming up on my Amazon Recommends page..... I don't know the author but reviews are great plus some of her books were serialised on Radio 4 which lends some gravitas!
However from the reviews of the first in the Cazalet series, the Light Years, I couldn't establish whether much actually happens. I love a good period story but I need there to be a story, not just descriptive wonder of what life was like at any give point in history.... Lots of discussion of the fabulous detail and all that but is there any more to it?