Series: The Clifton Chronicles #1
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published Date: August 30th 2011
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Page Count: 400
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
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.
“Some people standby you in your darkest hour while others walk away; only a select few march towards you and become even closer friends.”
Along with seeing Harry Clifton's point of view we also get to see things from Maise Clifton (Mother), Hugo Barrington (His possible father), Old Jack Tar (a war veteran who acts as a security guard kind of), Giles Barrington ( Bestfriend), Emma Barrington (Giles little sister).
With six different perspectives shown with some things being gone over again. You might think that it would either get to confusing or that it would get way too many characters. Thankfully those things never happened for me and sometimes certain things being gone over again was actually a good thing due to understanding more of why something happened or why a person acted a certain way. At times it would be slightly frustrating when you were seeing things from another person's point of view because of what you knew about them and you just wanted their portion of the story to be over.
Now moving past the multiple point of views onto the story part. I found Harry's story rather dull at certain times due to it just being regular every day young school life. I am very interested to see what happens to him in the future though considering how this book ended.
I think the story line I found the most interesting was Old Jack Tar's mainly because of why he choose to become certain things. I also really liked that after his father passed away he realized that he was forgiven for certain things and that he could change people's life's and still help people even though he had done certain things in the war.
With Maise I found her a really strong woman due to never knowing what happened to her husband and still finding a way to provide for her family, and making sure that Harry got to have more opportunities than they had, had.For Giles and Emma I did find their perspectives important, but sadly the majority of the time I just found Giles to be a spoiled brat that just wanted to get his fathers attention in any way possible rather good or bad. As for Emma I did like her and I thought she was a good I just never felt very attached to her.
Now for my least favorite character Hugo. Right from the beginning I knew he was going to be a problem and that he wasn't going to be a good person. While I knew he wasn't going to be good I never thought he would be the cause of so much pain for the Clifton's.
Going into this series I wasn't really sure what to expect or if it was even going to be worth my time, but as of right now I can't wait to read the second book in the series and see what happens to Harry!