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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Harry Clifton is such a gifted boy that nearly the entire city of Bristol rallies to help him realize 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 in the U.K.—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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Read first and second back to back.
Very good loved the chact
A tad more research needed
Author should have researched when Mirandizing people into custody became law. 1939? don't think so. Rather an egregious oversight.