September 28, 2012

Review : Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer

Title : Only Time Will Tell

Author : Jeffrey Archer

Reading Dates : 25 Aug - 31 Aug 2012

Total Pages : 450

The Clifton Chronicles
  • Only Time Will Tell
  • The Sins of the Father
From Amazon :
From the internationally bestselling author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph.

The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the words “I was told that my father was killed in the war.” A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father, but he learns about life on the docks from his uncle, who expects Harry to join him at the shipyard once he’s left school. But then an unexpected gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys’ school, and his life will never be the same again.

As he enters into adulthood, Harry finally learns how his father really died, but the awful truth only leads him to question, was he even his father? Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who spent his whole life on the docks, or the firstborn son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line?

This introductory novel in Archer’s ambitious series The Clifton Chronicles includes a cast of colorful characters and takes us from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry must decide whether to take up a place at Oxford or join the navy and go to war with Hitler’s Germany. From the docks of working-class England to the bustling streets of 1940 New York City, Only Time Will Tell takes readers on a journey through to future volumes, which will bring to life one hundred years of recent history to reveal a family story that neither the reader nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.

Book Review of Only Time Will Tell.

I enjoyed Only Time Will Tell. It reminded me a lot of my favourite book by Jeffrey Archer, Kane and Abel. While it isn’t as good, it does come close.

What I enjoyed about Only Time Will Tell is the characters that populate the story and how Jeffrey Archer sets about entwining their lives together. The characters in Only Time Will Tell aren’t saints but they make it easy to believe that goodness in itself puts them in a class of their own regardless of their station in life. I couldn’t help liking Harry and his extended family, all of whom never hesitate in making hard choices in order to give their loved ones a brighter future than they had.

The other interesting part about Only Time Will Tell is how the author reveals the facts surrounding Harry Clifton’s father’s death. By telling the story from the different characters viewpoints, only we the reader become privy to the entire tale. And even then, I get the feeling that there’s more to the story to come. After all, they each have a part of the puzzle and not all of them have had a chance to tell it yet.

Even so, while I enjoyed Only Time Will Tell and there is a cliffhanger ending, I didn’t end the story with a burning desire to read the next book. I supposed it is because the first book in The Clifton Chronicles gives off the vibe that nothing truly bad could ever happen to the good guys. That no matter what adversity Harry may face, he and his loved ones will triumph in the end.

A lovely read to pass the time.

My conclusions :

  • Would I re-read the book ? Yes.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series ? Yes, but I can wait.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Probably not.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Fiction readers looking for a feel good read.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

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