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
It would be an overall 5 star, but the book takes about an hour to engage the reader. Having said that it is worth enduring the slow start. The performer is excellent, the characters well developed and the interwoven stories are engaging. I am moving on to Book 2 in the series, and I'm glad of it.
I enjoyed part 1 of the Clinton Chronicles. Rarely do you find as many likeable characters who are flawed, yet the main character is without fault, except for a very foolish decision at the conclusion of the book. It's almost out of character. And that's why I didn't give the book 5 stars. It seems to be a ploy to make one want to read part 2. And guess what? It worked!
Typical melodrama. Well written. Be aware this is the beginning of the story. If you want to know how it ends, you will need to read the next novel in the series. I don't care what happens.
I enjoyed listening to this book, couldn't wait to get into the next one, when this one aburptly ended. Although, I found I was constantly guessing what was going to happen next. If you want to be entertained with garbage in/garbage out, this is a fine one to kill some time. After listening to the next one, I'm left scratching my head at the utter predicatbility. Still, entertaining and you can drive along talking to yourself: "Saw that one coming" or "huh....no surprises there". The fact remains the initial plot was compelling and I feel the author could have done so much more with it. I won't waste my $$ on the subsequent 3,4 and 5.
This one isn't a lemon, but read the reviews on the subsequent installments to see what others opined.
This was a good book for the rush-hour commute, but the characters were somewhat black and white i.e. good or bad. I would have like a little more depth.
I would have given the performance five stars but the attempt at an American accent
was pretty bad.
I am a retired psychologist with lots of time on my hands, thus I listen to a lot of books.
This is a novel about Harry who was born about 1920 in England. The story is told from the point of several of the main characters. Mr. Archer is able to seamlessly blend the storyline with each of these characters in an intriguing way that kept me spellbound. There is an in depth development of characters. I can't wait to read book 2.
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