4 hours ago
Friday, September 9, 2011
Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer - Audiobook Review
Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer
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.
I was reading this book and was given the opportunity to review the audiobook also. I have been trying to get into audiobooks but have been struggling with it. I was enjoying reading this book so I hoped that the audio version would keep my attention as well. It really worked out well since this was a book that I found hard to put down. I could listen to the audiobook as I did housework or drove in my car. It worked out well. The book is read by Roger Allam and Emelia Fox who both did a wonderful job. The audiobook also includes a bonus interview with Jeffrey Archer, which I found very interesting.
I really loved this book and am looking forward to the rest of the series. I would recommend both the print version and audio version. Below is my review of the print version in case you missed it last month.
I have never read a book written by Jeffrey Archer before. After reading this book I will be looking out for more of his books. What an amazing storyteller!
Only Time Will Tell tells the story of two families, the Barringtons, a well to do family and the Cliftons, a struggling family. The Barringtons are shipping magnates while the Cliftons are hard working people. Young Harry Clifton's mother, Maisie is a waitress while his uncle is a dock worker as was his father. Young Harry believes his father died in the war. Maisie will do what she needs to do to get her son the type of education he needs to break the cycle. Harry has a phenomenal voice which just may be his ticket to a good school. When Harry goes off to school he meets Giles Barrington and the two become fast friends. The two boys become connected without realizing they may have always been connected. As Harry learns the truth about his father, the world is getting closer to being at war and decisions are made which will affect them all.
Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of another character. I found this extremely interesting even though some of the same storyline was retold. It gave me a different look at the situation as it happened. Seeing the same situation through the eyes of another can be quite eye-opening.
The characters are well developed. I felt I knew each character very well. The author does a fantastic job creating each character's personality. Each character seems to be harboring some sort of secret by the time this book ends. Some of the characters are not very likeable but make for great reading. Every saga needs a good villain or two. Other characters such as Maisie and Harry will capture your heart. You can't help but feel for Harry and Maisie. I kept hoping life would get easier for them.
The book ends with a huge cliffhanger that has me dying to get my hands on the next installment of this series. I find myself wondering what will happen to each of the characters in the book. This book ends with many unanswered questions but I knew going into this book it was a series spanning many years and many generations. I adore a good family saga and this one does not disappoint! I loved all the unexpected twists. I can't wait to see where Mr. Archer plans on taking this storyline next! He has made me a big fan! I just hope we don't have to wait too long for the next book! I know I'll be reading all installments of The Clifton Chronicles. You don't want to miss this series!
I was given both the print and audiobook in return for my honest opinion. Thank you to Macmillan Audio and St Martin's Press.