Only Time Will Tell

Only Time Will Tell

Book - 2011
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"From the popular author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes 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 his 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 who was his father? Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who spent his whole life on the docks, or the first-born son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line? This introductory novel in 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"--
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2011.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780312539559
031253955X
9781250039026
Branch Call Number: FICTION Archer Jeffrey 08/2011
Characteristics: 386 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm.

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4
4piece
Aug 07, 2018

Jeffrey Archer knows how to spin a good yarn, but I was disappointed with this one. It’s basically a good story - but it’s trite. Everyone and everything seems to come together to help the young hero. It just isn’t very realistic. I know this is the beginning of a series, but I won’t bother with the sequels.

esillius Jun 01, 2017

The whole series is amazing but the first book, as is most often the case, is the best. Character development is important to me and all of the many characters in this ensemble case are flushed out well. I appreciate that the chapters alternate between characters so we get a strong focus on each but get right back to a different character in time before you forget anything. I also found that I learned a lot about history, which is always a plus!

c
chipbk
Mar 08, 2017

Enjoyed most of the way through.

r
ravensview
Jun 16, 2016

Our June choice was Only Time Will Tell, by Jeffrey Archer. This novel, the first in a series, covers the period from 1919 up to the start of WW2, but the entire set of seven will span almost 100 years.
The story is told as a series of overlapping points of view, where eight sections cycle through six different characters, with each one introducing their own chapter. At first we found this slowed the pace down, as each key event is re-examined through other eyes, but it did add important motivations and extra depth to everyone. The setting ranges from the dockyards to private schools, and the people from labourers to aristocrats. There are a number of smaller characters and sub-plots running through this story too, but they are all well done and are necessary to support such a long and complex series. We did find at times that the complex interweaving of characters and events was filled with a few too many coincidences, but we still enjoyed it and gave a rating of 4.5/5. I'm looking forward to book #2.

d
DorisWaggoner
Dec 06, 2015

I'm a sucker for family sagas, so picked up this first in the series. I also like the post WW I period, where this begins. The writing is mostly pedestrian. Harry, the protagonist, is likable but naive, as is his mother. Otherwise, most characters are either all evil or all good, cardboard, in other words. Dialog tends to be wooden. I kept reading because the plot's intriguing, and the various points of view, though they slow the plot down, make the characters a bit more life like. The ending's a cliff hanger.

c
cypress1
Jun 16, 2015

We are victims of the Wimberley flood - we have highrise in Austin as well.

However, we usually did not take books from Austin, and I thought I had returned this one, again could have taken it to Wimberley to "finish" a story. I know you have been trying to find it - I guess next step is for us to pay for it which is okay too, we get lots of enjoyment from the library, just tell me next step,

Thanks, Judy Thompson

c
chogs
Jul 21, 2014

Enjoyed the read until the end when I knew Archer was coming up with sequels...not in a hurry to continue with the sequels.

Dorisplorr Mar 12, 2014

If JK Rowling and VC Andrews were locked in a room with a keg, this is what they would have written.

Im not going to bother with the rest of them.

v
vbotting
Feb 12, 2014

Brilliant !

2
2puppies
Jan 22, 2014

Most entertaining read! Am already on second novel of trilogy.

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