Elizabeth Jane Howard - "The Light Years"
"The Light Years" by Elizabeth Jane Howard was published in 1990 and it is the first volume of a family saga (the protagonists are members of the Cazalet family) made up of five books.
The Cazalet are a large family and its members are:
- two superiors, lovingly nicknamed by the sons "The General" and "The Duchess", both linked to rigid Victorian morals and thoughts
- the three male children and their families
- an unmarried female daughter.
The novel mainly describes the dialogues, fears, character, games of a group of cousins who find themselves in the summer vacation at grandmother's home, children of four different families.
Therefore, the plot is simple and easy to read: it tells the everyday characters of the characters, the misunderstanding between husband and wife, jealousies and betrayal, teasing of brothers and sisters, and scams among children, adolescent dreams, fears and disappointments. But the specter of a new war is all about, with the memories and the concerns of those who have known the previous one.
In the meticulous description of the everyday life of the characters (which makes the novel quite slow), emerging well-defined psychological profiles emerge
The period of childhood is described as a time of candor and innocence, and the author speaks with great nostalgia; In fact, childhood is described as a "lost paradise" that can no longer be recovered.