white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
All Change is the fifth and final volume in Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalet Chronicles. Published nearly 20 years after the previous book, and shortly before Howard's death in 2014, it picks up the family's story in 1956. The younger generation of the previous books are now young adults and parents; there's a new generation of children and Hugh, Edward, Rachel, Rupert and their partners have become the older generation, trying to come to grips with a very different world from the one they grew up in.

I'm not quite sure why Howard felt the need to revisit the Cazalets after such a long break, and although I actually prefer the more bittersweet ending to the series All Change provides to Casting Off's neat conjunction of happy endings, I'm not sure the book lives up to the earlier ones. It feels less subtle, the characters much less three-dimensional than before. There's a lot of infodumping about the events of previous books, but the "new" story feels rather thin; some characters hardly appear, while others have stories which are compressed into onto a handful of chapters, and a lot of time is devoted to the children born since the end of All Change, who I wasn't particularly interested in. There are also quite a few continuity glitches (a character reflecting that she's sick of breastfeeding in one chapter, only to still be clinging on to feeding the same baby over a year later; a parent inexplicably only addressing an issue discovered in a "January/February" section in the "November/December" of the same year). It isn't dreadful, but it's my least favourite by a long way.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-16 06:59 pm (UTC)
sillymouse: Plum Blossom (Default)
From: [personal profile] sillymouse
a character reflecting that she's sick of breastfeeding in one chapter, only to still be clinging on to feeding the same baby over a year later

That one isn't a continuity error, that is just how it goes. One can move in the course of a day from being utterly fed up of breastfeeding to unwilling ever to stop. And however much one wants it to end, get one's body back, be allowed effective medications etc, it always always feels too soon (especially if it is the last child, and is at least partly to do with the hormone changes caused by the ending of breastfeeding). This isn't just my experience, it's pretty much universal amongst the breastfeeding mothers I know.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-16 07:11 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
This was my experience, too.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-16 07:23 pm (UTC)
sillymouse: Plum Blossom (Default)
From: [personal profile] sillymouse
I was utterly sick of breastfeeding at various points from 7 months in with both babies; I didn't finish until 21 months (L, mostly because I was pregnant again) and 34 months (N). It's a cycle that can play itself out over years very easily.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-16 07:43 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
I have a friend who didn't stop with her last until he was four.

I stopped with my daughter at about two and a half when she started wanting only thirty seconds every day or two. She wasn't pleased.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-16 08:56 pm (UTC)
jinty: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jinty
Very much the sort of thing that you don't know unless / until you are in that position yourself I think. I had no idea that there was such a thing as extended breastfeeding until I found myself doing it... Tho to be fair Joan Slonzcewski's later books (ie beyond the Women's Press edition of Door Into Ocean) deal with this well, and explain it and all.

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