The Cazalets Volume 5 All Change

(26 Posts)
EmilyAlice Wed 13-Nov-13 13:36:13

Has anyone else read it yet? What did you think?

Sonnet Wed 13-Nov-13 13:37:43

I have it to read and I cannot wait to start smile
Just have to finish the book I am on first!

highlandcoo Wed 13-Nov-13 14:18:30

Waiting until it's out in paperback, to complete my set of all the novels. Ages away though. Really looking forward to it and planning to reread the first four in the meantime.

EmilyAlice Wed 13-Nov-13 14:28:02

The first bit was like a very nice school reunion, catching up on what had happened to everyone. Her writing is as good as ever; lovely clear, lucid prose. I did have a few niggles about the plot though, but won't spoil it until people have read it. I downloaded it on Thursday at 6am and had finished it by Friday morning!

MissMilliment Wed 13-Nov-13 16:11:27

I'm about halfway through and reserving judgment for now. As you can tell from my username I'm a fan of the Cazalets grin

EmilyAlice Wed 13-Nov-13 17:52:56

Hope it is only the name! The description of dried food stuck on her clothes makes me cringe. I am old enough to remember elderly ladies who smelt of parma violet and unwashed clothes....

MissMilliment Wed 13-Nov-13 18:55:46

I have a huge soft spot for Miss Milliment, but try not to emulate her dress style, just her attitude to life smile

magimedi Thu 14-Nov-13 17:29:18

I have read it. I didn't enjoy it as much as the other 4. The characters just didn't come through as strongly a they did in all the others & to me some of the things that happened seemed a bit unlikely, especially Clarrie & Archie. (Don't want to spoil things).

I felt that it was almost like a tidy up of all the lives & also some of the things mentioned, like condoms & joints just didn't ring true to it being the mid 1950s.

Lilymaid Thu 14-Nov-13 17:31:51

Just bought my Kindle copy so raring to go!
"I am old enough to remember elderly ladies who smelt of parma violet and unwashed clothes...."
That's like my MIL - though she doesn't use parma violet!

EmilyAlice Thu 14-Nov-13 17:33:43

I agree. The Clary and Archie bit and also Neville / Juliet left me a bit hmm
I thought the last third was stronger with the dramatic tension of the business folding.

EmilyAlice Thu 14-Nov-13 17:37:35

Oh goodness Lilymaid, I hope not.
Sort of combo of dried sweat, unwashed underwear and mothballs....
Eau de cologne if you were lucky.
It always make me think of the phrase genteel poverty.

magimedi Thu 14-Nov-13 17:42:03

Oh yes - the Neville & Juliet was very odd - not at all like either of them as they were, although I do appreciate they were older in this book.

I hate to say it, but I wish she had stopped at 4 books.

EmilyAlice Thu 14-Nov-13 17:49:18

I am glad she wrote it because I liked finding out about all their families, but I think it would have been better if she had got to the fall-out of what happened when the business went, earlier on in the book. It felt like everybody had to have a couple of episodes before we got to the main plot and then it was over. I felt quite a few times that she didn't quite know what to do with the characters.

I also was glad to read it, but it's not the same. It's almost like someone else wrote it in her style, tying up all the ends.
Miss Milliment was always my favourite character and I am NOT pleased!

elizabethtailored Fri 15-Nov-13 14:12:08

I loved bits of it but was very disappointed by other aspects. It felt like coming home having all the familiar characters back but others aspects were severely lacking.

Loads of discrepancies between this book and and the other four. I love the books so it really bothered me -

Louise had dark hair but in this book EJH keeps referring to golden or red/gold

Louise's friend Stella is 'dumpy' and plain whereas am sure in Marking Time she was tall and rangy with hair like a flower.

Simon does not have a twin who died at birth. That was Wills.

There were quite a lot of repetitions of jokes/anecdotes etc/descriptions

The Neville and Juliet story line was just ridiculous. As with the speed it was dealt with.

However, I am still devestated there won't be any more to come though!

FurryGiraffe Fri 15-Nov-13 18:38:59

The repetition of anecdotes and discrepancies with earlier books annoyed me too. As did the Neville and Juliet stuff- very odd! Clary and Archie I thought quite plausible though (not nice but plausible).

My main niggle was the way certain characters and situations (Edward, Diana, Villy) appeared to have been in limbo since book 4, which ended nearly 10 years earlier. I can see why for dramatic purposes she wanted those situations to be unresolved, but I just didn't buy it.

MissMilliment Sun 17-Nov-13 11:26:43

I pretty much agree with previous posters' comments on discrepancies, etc. The twin who died thing really annoyed me as it was mentioned several times and any decent editor should have picked that up.

And as you can guess, I am NOT happy about Miss Milliment either!

There were some really nice touches and turns of phrase that I enjoyed. I thought the painful dinner with Diana, Edward, Sid and Rachel was well done.

The things I loved in the previous books - descriptions of food, shopping trips, who sleeps where at home place, all the minutiae that I love in the other 4 books didn't come across as well here. I suspect it's because it seemed like padding around thin characterisation whereas in the other books it was a nice bonus as the characterisation was so much better.

mumslife Sun 17-Nov-13 12:20:25

I loved the first four books all the detail etc that others would groan at. Waiting for it to come out in paperback. Hope it doesnt dissapoint

GeorginaWorsley Tue 19-Nov-13 11:55:46

Am reading on Kindle at the moment.
Am enjoying it,love the descriptions of clothing and houses etc,but feel each chapter is rushed,no sooner got to grips with people in it than it ends.

Arabesque1 Wed 20-Nov-13 12:27:19

I really enjoyed this book and absolutely galloped through it. However, I agree some things jarred:

The Neville/Juliet story was tied up too suddenly - also the first scene they were in was written as if Neville hadn't seen her in years and years, which was surely a bit strange. They were stepbrother and sister, he still had a good relationship with his father, wouldn't have left home that long ago and lived quite near them. Surely he would have seen Juliet regularly?

I thought Polly wasn't that well developed in this book, either. There didn't seem to be any light and shade to her story, it was all just happy ever after stuff, whereas in the previous books she was quite a sensitive deep thinking character which was what made her so interesting.

I also found the amount of time devoted to Hugh's new wife Jemima, at the expense of more long standing characters like Lydia (who barely featured) a bit disappointing.

And finally, there was far too many children of around the same age and it got very confusing trying to remember who belonged to who.

But, as I said, still an enjoyable read.

Beeyump Mon 25-Nov-13 15:14:19

I have nearly finished All Change (what joy when I saw it in Waterstones! I had forgotten it was coming out!) and I just need to put down in writing how frustrating I've found the Juliet/Neville thing. I MEAN REALLY! They are, essentially, brother and sister, would neither of them feel the slightest twinge of discomfort about this...this silliness. You're right Arabesque, surely they would have seen each other at some point over the years?! Sorry, don't know why I'm finding it so bad, possibly because I liked the child character of Juliet and thought Neville was funny and engaging.

Arabesque1 Wed 27-Nov-13 13:56:42

Me too Beeyump. I actually found it disappointing the way Juliet had grown up to be similar to the Zoe of the first Cazalet novel. She had come across as being like a young Lydia in Casting Off with that unmistakeable 'Cazalet' turn of phrase. Likewise Neville was funny and quirky but just seemed sleazy and shallow as an adult. I know the books were very loosely based on E J's own childhood so maybe he's a version of someone she knows??

Beeyump Wed 27-Nov-13 14:51:32

Good theory! One other thing, (actually, there are many, but I won't bore you with them all...) was Diana always so awful? I seem to remember finding her quite annoying but also well drawn and somehow sympathetic in the previous books.

Arabesque1 Thu 28-Nov-13 11:23:23

I was struck by that as well. She seemed to be okay in previous books but was an out and out bitch in this one who seemed to only want Edward for his money.

elizabethtailored Fri 29-Nov-13 15:31:54

I think by the end of Casting Off Diana was showing a not very pleasant side. She was making it very difficult for Louise to visit Edward when he was unwell (stomach ulcers??) and Edward handed over his war medals to Louise when she was out of the room saying something along the lines of he wanted her to have something and he didn’t have anything to give. However, in the earlier books Louise and Diana appeared to get on quite well when they went out for supper together with Edward and in the earlier books Diana, when having sort of internal monologue, is pretty sure that Jamie is Edward’s son and it comes up a couple of times, yet in All Change it is made out that Diana has passed Jamie off as Edward’s son when she knows he is not.

Can you tell I have read these books once or twice before?!

The Cazalets would be my specialist subject on Mastermind..

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