Thursday, January 12, 2017

All Change

Wishing to check something that I had come across at the end of All Change, the last volume of Elizabeth Jane Howard's extraordinary Cazalet Chronicles. Although I knew that the reference was contained in the very last sentence of the book, I made the lethal mistake of starting a few pages earlier. Before I knew it, I was swept up once again in the life of the Cazalet family, so beautifully written and so beautifully rendered, that I completely forgot what I was supposed to be looking for.

The last two paragraphs of the five volumes, wrenched out of context, are sure to fall flat but here they are just the same:

Sid's room was still full of her things, Rachel took the little woolly hat she used to wear when her hair was falling out, and the long silk scarf that had been her last present. Tomorrow she would tell Eileen to clear everything else and give it a charity. From the nursery so took a box of dominoes, and The Brown Fairy Book, her favourite when she had been a child; she had coloured all the black and white Henry Ford illustrations; all the princesses had long golden hair and the dragons were bright green. She would be able to read it to Laura now, and also teach her to play dominoes.

Then she went to bed, in her own room, which Villy had left immaculate. She knew she was tired, as her back was hurting, but she felt infinitely warm from all the love she'd received. And now - better still - she was going to be needed.


3 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:18 pm

    It's beautiful, isn't it. And leaves you feeling hopeful for the future of the Cazalets (in a way none of the previous 4 books had).
    I do this with books - check for something and before I know it I am re-reading the book properly.
    As a matter of interest, what were you checking on? Which colour 'Fairy Book', perhaps?

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  2. Anonymous3:36 pm

    "And now - better still - she was going to be needed." Of course it was there for me to see! Isn't this what we all need?

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