From the internationally best-selling 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 is never the same.
As he enters into adulthood, Harry finally learns how his father really died, but the awful truth only leads him to a 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 listeners on a journey through to future volumes, which will bring to life 100 years of recent history to reveal a family story that neither the listener nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.
©2011 Jeffrey Archer (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
I couldn't stop listening to this book with keen enjoyment and kept going back over passages to make sure I'd gotten the full sense of it. That's the good news. This is serious fiction--almost. Where it falls short, I think, is trading off a deep sense of character complexity in favor of strongly delineating which side of the good/bad divide they are meant to be seen as standing on. So, well worth listening to but falls short of the hopes ot inspires.
I like books with interwoven characters and stories a lot (think: Ken Follett) so I tried this one and liked it very much. I am currently on book 2. The characters are nicely developed and the story is entertaining and engaging. The narration is lovely and the nature of how the story is told is unique. It is kind of epistolary from many POVs which adds a lot of depth.
On the whole, this storyline is a bit more shallow than a lot of books of this genre I am used to but that is not a criticism. The stakes are just never quite as “life and death at every moment” high as some other stories so your emotional dips and highs aren't as big but sometimes I am in the mood for a nice palate-cleanser. Would recommend :)
Thorough, captivating, Archerist.
any of Archer's other mysteries; a Prison Diary comes to mind.
The scenes that took place in the old train car with Jack were definitely a favorite.
Can hardly wait until I can read the next one.
If you like Jeffery Archer, you'll love this one and be anxious for the next one to be consumed.
The storyline was captivating.
The book has a terrific cliff-hanger ending that left me anxious for the next book in the series.
They each brought real life to the characters whose lines they read.
This was a terrific book. Jeffrey Archer is an excellent story teller. His characters are believable and genuine. I enjoyed every minute of the story.
Learning more in detail about English school system and Oxford and Cambridge.
Harry Clifton, so many interesting facets to his life
New York City harbor - ending on a suspensful note.
As usual, Jeffrey Archer, writes well and his stories are extremely entertaining. I enjoyed every single book I have read that was written by him but this series is EXCELLENT. I highly recommend it.
it ranks from 1-10 ..a 10
emelia coming to new york looking for her love
i need to know if Harry inheriting the Barrington title THE HOUSE Adjoured which book is next
The characters lack depth and the story was predictable.
This is the first piece of Archer's work that I have ever listened to or read, and considering how well established an author he is, and how highly rated these books are, I was very disappointed. There is much better fiction out there than this.
Narration was okay, although I would have liked to hear more from Emelia Fox.
I am struggling to see why there are so many good reviews for this title.
I would absolutely recommend this book - good story line and seveal sub-plots that make the chronologic look-ins to each character worthwhile and interesting!
Harry & Maisey
Great lead in to book 2!
So many things. Great story, interesting characters.
Harry Clifton. He is the heart and soul of the series.
Roger is good, he does some interesting voices, but I found myself delighted when Emelia was speaking
I loved them all! They are all developed so well with great individual story lines.
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