Title: Only Time Will Tell
Author: Jeffery Archer
Publisher: Pan Macmillan, 384p
I read somewhere that Archer started writing Clifton Chronicles as he want to write something better than Kane and Abel, his best work so far. ‘Only Time Will Tell’ is the first book of Clifton Chronicles that tells us about the young ages of the protagonist Harry Clifton.
Harry Clifton, Son of a docker who was being told his father was died in the Great War throughout his childhood somehow knows that wasn’t true. Raised by a single mother in a period when women hardly get any job, whether Harry able to fulfill his mother’s wish of getting him a better education and whether he learned the real reason of his father’s death if indeed he was his father, the book gives you the answer.
I liked the way, the story being told. It was being told in the view of different people -Maisie Clifton, Harry, Old Jack, Hugo, Giles and Emma. He kept lot of open threads when the story was being told in the view of one person and close it when the concern person view is coming. For example, lot of questions about Old Jack was answered when the story takes his view.
I liked the part of Maisie Clifton. The struggles of a single mother who wants her son to get good education despite of many setbacks were superbly captured and you would definitely admire and pity her when this chapter ends. Other character I liked the most is Old Jack. His admiration of Harry as the son he never had and his efforts to fulfill Harry’s small wishes and get him good education makes him the most lovable person the novel.
Somehow the first volume of Clifton Chronicles did not have many incidents to like Harry as much as Maisie and Jack. I guess, Archer wrote this book as just the introduction of Harry and his background and future books will have more of him.
In few places, it reminded me Kane and Abel. Particularly the parts where sometimes we forget Harry is actually a little boy. Not sure why Archer always keeps his protagonists as over matured as a child.
Despite that this book makes a great read which would not disappoint you. Whether Archer achieved his goal of bettering Kane and Abel? Only time will tell when the sequels of Clifton Chronicles released.
My Rating for this Archer’s novel is ★★★★☆
- Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer: review (telegraph.co.uk)
- Digested read: Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer (guardian.co.uk)
- Jeffrey Archer interview: the saga continues (telegraph.co.uk)