Fiction All Change Omnivore review

Published on November 4th, 2013


All Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard

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Blurb: It is the 1950s and as the Duchy, the Cazalets’ beloved matriarch, dies, she takes with her the last remnants of a disappearing world – of houses with servants, of class and tradition – in which the Cazalets have thrived. Louise, now divorced, becomes entangled in a painful affair; while Polly and Clary must balance marriage and motherhood with their own ideas and ambitions. Hugh and Edward, now in their sixties, are feeling ill-equipped for this modern world; while Villy, long abandoned by her husband, must at last learn to live independently. But it is Rachel, who has always lived for others, who will face her greatest challenges yet . . . Events converge at Christmas; as a new generation of Cazalets descend on Home Place. Only one thing is certain: nothing will ever be the same again. (Mantle, 2013)

Lettie Ransley, The Observer

“Howard’s stepson Martin Amis has praised her “penetrating sanity”; in an irony surely not lost on its author, All Change is ultimately a novel about constants – loyalty, kindness, compassion – and like the best of its characters, is never less than heartwarming and wise.”

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Lucy Atkins, The Sunday Times

“This is a good old-fashioned family saga. There is no tight plotting or building up to a ­climax, there are no cleverly timed twists or revelations. Chapters simply focus on various family members as they cope with life’s ups and downs. The characters share stiff upper lips and a beguiling ability to look on the bright side.”

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Kate Saunders, The Times

“It’s a kind of Buddenbrooks of the Home Counties, deeply enjoyable, beautifully written.”

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