Thursday, August 18, 2011

Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer

Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer


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 received this book for my honest review courtesy of St. Martins Press.

If you think you would like to read this book be sure to enter my giveaway! Three copies are being given away. Click here to enter. Giveaway ends tomorrow!


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.


Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain’s House of Commons and fourteen years in the House of Lords. All of his novels and short story collections--including And Thereby Hangs a Tale, Kane and Abel, Paths of Glory and False Impression--have been international bestselling books. Archer is married with two sons and lives in London and Cambridge.


  1. I like books about families that go across generations and more than one book! I think I might have to add this series to my TBR list!

  2. I read this last week and the review is written and will post next week (I think). Anyway, I pretty much wrote what you did :) I think new fans to Archer (I hadn't read his books before either) will enjoy this!

  3. I'm glad to hear you liked this one. It's on my nightstand. It sure does sound good!

  4. I grew up on Jeffrey Archer's books, and am still a big fan of his thrillers. I don't think I've read this one though, so I'm going to check it out. You should check his As The Crow Flies. That one is my all-time favorite by him.

  5. Looking forward to getting to my copy of this one. Glad u enjoyed it Beth. Hope you all have a great week.

  6. Glad to see you enjoyed it, since I will be starting it very soon. Not looking forward to the cliffhanger ending, though, because it means I have to wait awhile to find out what happens!


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