Review: Only Time Will Tell

Description (from  Jeffrey Archer’s website):

The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the chilling words, ‘I was told my father was killed in the war.’ But it will be another twenty years before Harry discovers how his father really died, which will only lead him to question who was his father?

Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who worked in Bristol docks, or the first born son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns the Barrington Shipping Line?

Only Time Will Tell covers the years from 1920 to 1940, and includes a cast of memorable characters that The Times has compared to The Forsyte Saga. Volume one 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.

You will be taken on a journey that you won’t want to end, but when you turn the last page of this unforgettable yarn, you will be faced with a dilemma that neither you, nor Harry Clifton, could have anticipated.

My Review – 3 Stars:  According to an interview in Weekend Review, 2/21/2013,  there are five parts to the Clifton Chronicles.  Only Time Will Tell is the first book for this series. I would say, if you decide to read this series, it would be best to read the books in the correct order.  According to Goodreads there are three books in this series to date.

  • Only Time Will Tell
  • The Sins of the Father
  • Best Kept Secret
Only Time Will Tell begins with Harry Clifton’s early years in 1920 and continues until 1940.  Harry comes from an  extremely poor family and enters a prestigious school on a choral scholarship, where he makes two friends, Giles Barrington who comes from a very rich family and Deakins, who is, academically, a top student.  The story is also about the characters who support Harry, especially his mother.  We follow Harry through school, meeting the love of his life, and his journey from England to America on the brink of both countries entering WWII.

The author, Jeffrey Archer, tells parts of the story from the different perspectives of the main characters, which I found interesting.  However, I was disappointed that the story, for the most part, is open ended and incomplete.  After reading this book, I am mildly curious to find out what happens next.

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