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Ambitious and addictive, Only Time Will Tell is the first novel in international bestseller Jeffrey Archer’s the Clifton Chronicles begins the epic tale of Harry Clifton, a working-class boy from the docks of Bristol.
It is 1920, and against the backdrop of a world ravaged by conflict, Harry’s story begins with the words ‘I was told that my father was killed in the war’. Harry’s existence is defined by the death of his father and he seems destined to a life on the docks until a remarkable gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys school and entry into a world he could never have envisaged.
Over the course of twenty years, as the Second World War and the fight against Hitler draws nearer, Harry will learn the awful truth about his father’s death and of his own connections to a powerful shipping family, the Barringtons. And in doing so, he will change his destiny forever . . .
Richly imagined and populated with remarkable characters, the Clifton Chronicles will take you on a powerful journey, bringing to life one hundred years of family history in a story neither you, nor Harry, could ever have dreamt of.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Harry Clifton is such a gifted boy that nearly the entire city of Bristol rallies to help him realise his incredible potential and overcome the pitfalls of poverty and the cloud surrounding his father’s World War I battlefield death. Bestselling novelist Jeffrey Archer—a former Member of Parliament—shepherds us along effortlessly from cliffhanger to cliffhanger, hooking us into this historical family saga. The first book in the Clifton Chronicles has Downton Abbey–like charm, setting up the series’ central themes: coming-of-age struggles and triumphs, class divisions and the dramatic consequences of letting lies run wild.
With his latest, Archer (Honor Among Thieves) delivers another page-turning, heart-stopping saga, with delightful twists, and a surprise ending. This first title from the Clifton Chronicles introduces readers to Harry Clifton, a boy growing up in Bristol whose father mysteriously died a full year before his birth, supposedly killed in WWI. Though Harry dreams of becoming a stevedore like his Uncle Stan, crazy Old Jack Tar shows Harry the truths of the stevedore life and becomes his surrogate father. After hearing an angelic treble voice, Harry decides to join the choir and learns to read. The choir in turn gains him a scholarship to boys' boarding school St. Bede's a gateway to the life his mother wants for him, far from the harbor and shipping industry. He meets scholarly Deakins and wealthy Giles Barrington, who become his best friends, and the three strive to gain acceptance to Bristol Grammar School. Though Giles' father has a particular aversion to Harry, the boys' friendship proves stronger than any paternal dictates. While Archer hasn't revealed how many books will make up this saga (which will span one hundred years), readers will surely wait for the next with bated breath.