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The Cazalet Chronicles continues with the third in the series, Confusion, set in the height of the Second World War and where chaos has become a way of life for the Cazalet family.
It's 1942 and the dark days of war seem never-ending. Scattered across the still-peaceful Sussex countryside and air-raid-threatened London, the divided Cazalets begin to find the battle for survival echoing the confusion in their own lives.
Headstrong, independent Louise surprises the whole family when she abandons her dreams of being an actress and instead makes a society marriage. Polly and Clary, now in their late teens, finally fulfil their ambition of living together in London. But the reality of the city is not quite what they imagined, and Polly is struggling to come to terms with the death of her mother and manage her grieving father. Clary, meanwhile, is painfully aware that what she lacks in beauty she makes up for in intelligence, and is the only member of the family who believes that her father might not be dead.
With cover artwork exclusively designed by artist Luke Edward Hall, this is the heartbreaking and heartwarming third instalment of Elizabeth Jane Howard's bestselling series. It is followed by the fourth book, Casting Off.
'Charming, poignant and quite irresistible . . . to be cherished and shared' – The Times
Lush, sprawling escapist fiction of the first order, the third installment of the Cazalet Chronicle opens in the spring of 1942 and continues the saga begun in The Light Years and Marking Time. Set in London and the English countryside, much of the story focuses on the eldest Cazalet cousins, Louise, Polly and Clary, as they exit their teens and take their first steps into adulthood. Former acting student Louise has been swept into a brilliant but chilly marriage to Michael Hadleigh, a glamorous portrait painter and aspiring Member of Parliament whose life is controlled by his powerful mother. Best friends Polly and Clary leave the cozy confines of the Cazalet's country home to begin what they hope will be terribly grown-up lives in London. While Polly mourns the recent death of her mother, Clary keeps a journal that she hopes to give to her father, who has been missing since the invasion of Normandy. Alternating with the cousins' stories are chapters devoted to the rest of the Cazalet clan, their friends and lovers, bringing readers up to date on the doings of adulterous Edward, his dutiful spinster sister Rachel, her loving best friend Margot Sidney and others. Howard creates a nearly palpaple world, peopled with the sort of well-conceived characters that linger long in the reader's mind.