Only Time Will Tell (Clifton Chronicles Series #1)

Only Time Will Tell (Clifton Chronicles Series #1)

by Jeffrey Archer

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Overview

Only Time Will Tell

Jeffrey Archer

The first novel in the Clifton Chronicles, an ambitious new series that tells the story of a family across generations and oceans, from heartbreak to triumph, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jeffrey Archer

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 and expects to continue on at the shipyard, until a remarkable gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life will never be the same again...

As Harry enters into adulthood, he 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, or the firstborn son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line? From the ravages of the Great War and the docks of working-class England to the streets of 1940 New York City and the outbreak of the Second World War, this is a powerful journey that will bring to life one hundred years of history to reveal a family story that neither the reader nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312539566
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Series: Clifton Chronicles Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 58,355
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain's House of Commons and nineteen years in the House of Lords. All of his novels and short story collections--including And Thereby Hangs a Tale, Kane and Abel, Paths of Glory and False Impression--have been international bestselling books. Archer is married with two sons and lives in London and Cambridge.

Roger Allam has narrated audiobooks for numerous bestselling authors, including Jeffrey Archer, Ian McEwan, Ian Rankin, and Joseph Conrad. In reviewing Allam's narration of Jeffrey Archer's Paths of Glory, Publishers Weekly said, "Veteran actor Roger Allam brings an impressive range and energy to Archer's historical novel…. Allam's remarkable accents are the highlight of the audio book."


Emilia Fox lends her voice to various BBC Radio productions as well as audiobooks by Agatha Christie, Chris Cleave, and Jeffrey Archer. Her narration of River Boy River Boy by Tim Bowler won an AudioFile Earphones Award. She also narrated the character, Lady Winters, in the Doctor Who Adventure Game, The Gunpowder Plot, and previously played Berenice in the Eighth Doctor audio drama Nevermore.

Hometown:

London and the Old Vicarage, Grantchester

Date of Birth:

April 15, 1940

Education:

Attended Brasenose College, Oxford, 1963-66. Received a diploma in sports education from Oxford Institute

Read an Excerpt

ONLY TIME WILL TELL(Chapter 1)

I was told my father was killed in the war.

Whenever I questioned my mother about his death, she didn’t say any more than that he’d served with the Royal Gloucestershire Regiment and had been killed fighting on the Western Front only days before the Armistice was signed. Grandma said my dad had been a brave man, and once when we were alone in the house she showed me his medals. My grandpa rarely offered an opinion on anything, but then he was deaf as a post so he might not have heard the question in the first place.

The only other man I can remember was my uncle Stan, who used to sit at the top of the table at breakfast time. When he left of a morning I would often follow him to the city docks, where he worked. Every day I spent at the dockyard was an adventure. Cargo ships coming from distant lands and unloading their wares: rice, sugar, bananas, jute and many other things I’d never heard of. Once the holds had been emptied, the dockers would load them with salt, apples, tin, even coal (my least favorite, because it was an obvious clue to what I’d been doing all day and annoyed my mother), before they set off again to I knew not where. I always wanted to help my uncle Stan unload whatever ship had docked that morning, but he just laughed, saying, “All in good time, my lad.” It couldn’t be soon enough for me, but, without any warning, school got in the way.

I was sent to Merrywood Elementary when I was six and I thought it was a complete waste of time. What was the point of school when I could learn all I needed to at the docks? I wouldn’t have bothered to go back the following day if my mother hadn’t dragged me to the front gates, deposited me and returned at four o’clock that afternoon to take me home.

I didn’t realize Mum had other plans for my future, which didn’t include joining Uncle Stan in the shipyard.

Once Mum had dropped me off each morning, I would hang around in the yard until she was out of sight, then slope off to the docks. I made sure I was always back at the school gates when she returned to pick me up in the afternoon. On the way home, I would tell her everything I’d done at school that day. I was good at making up stories, but it wasn’t long before she discovered that was all they were: stories.

One or two other boys from my school also used to hang around the docks, but I kept my distance from them. They were older and bigger, and used to thump me if I got in their way. I also had to keep an eye out for Mr. Haskins, the chief ganger, because if he ever found me loitering, to use his favorite word, he would send me off with a kick up the backside and the threat: “If I see you loiterin’ round here again, my lad, I’ll report you to the headmaster.”

Occasionally Haskins decided he’d seen me once too often and I’d be reported to the headmaster, who would leather me before sending me back to my classroom. My form master, Mr. Holcombe, never let on if I didn’t show up for his class, but then he was a bit soft. Whenever my mum found out I’d been playing truant, she couldn’t hide her anger and would stop my halfpenny-a-week pocket money. But despite the occasional punch from an older boy, regular leatherings from the headmaster and the loss of my pocket money, I still couldn’t resist the draw of the docks.

I made only one real friend while I “loitered” around the dockyard. His name was Old Jack Tar. Mr. Tar lived in an abandoned railway carriage at the end of the sheds. Uncle Stan told me to keep away from Old Jack because he was a stupid, dirty old tramp. He didn’t look that dirty to me, certainly not as dirty as Stan, and it wasn’t long before I discovered he wasn’t stupid either.

After lunch with my uncle Stan, one bite of his Marmite sandwich, his discarded apple core and a swig of beer, I would be back at school in time for a game of football; the only activity I considered it worth turning up for. After all, when I left school I was going to captain Bristol City, or build a ship that would sail around the world. If Mr. Holcombe kept his mouth shut and the ganger didn’t report me to the headmaster, I could go for days without being found out, and as long as I avoided the coal barges and was standing by the school gate at four o’clock every afternoon, my mother would never be any the wiser.

*   *   *

Every other Saturday, Uncle Stan would take me to watch Bristol City at Ashton Gate. On Sunday mornings, Mum used to cart me off to Holy Nativity Church, something I couldn’t find a way of getting out of. Once the Reverend Watts had given the final blessing, I would run all the way to the recreation ground and join my mates for a game of football before returning home in time for dinner.

By the time I was seven it was clear to anyone who knew anything about the game of football that I was never going to get into the school team, let alone captain Bristol City. But that was when I discovered that God had given me one small gift, and it wasn’t in my feet.

To begin with, I didn’t notice that anyone who sat near me in church on a Sunday morning stopped singing whenever I opened my mouth. I wouldn’t have given it a second thought if Mum hadn’t suggested I join the choir. I laughed scornfully; after all, everyone knew the choir was only for girls and sissies. I would have dismissed the idea out of hand if the Reverend Watts hadn’t told me that choirboys were paid a penny for funerals and tuppence for weddings; my first experience of bribery. But even after I’d reluctantly agreed to take a vocal test, the devil decided to place an obstacle in my path, in the form of Miss Eleanor E. Monday.

I would never have come across Miss Monday if she hadn’t been the choir mistress at Holy Nativity. Although she was only five feet three, and looked as though a gust of wind might blow her away, no one tried to take the mickey. I have a feeling that even the devil would have been frightened of Miss Monday, because the Reverend Watts certainly was.

I agreed to take a vocal test, but not before my mum had handed over a month’s pocket money in advance. The following Sunday I stood in line with a group of other lads and waited to be called.

“You will always be on time for choir practice,” Miss Monday announced, fixing a gimlet eye on me. I stared back defiantly. “You will never speak, unless spoken to.” I somehow managed to remain silent. “And during the service, you will concentrate at all times.” I reluctantly nodded. And then, God bless her, she gave me a way out. “But most importantly,” she declared, placing her hands on her hips, “within twelve weeks, you will be expected to pass a reading and writing test, so that I can be sure you are able to tackle a new anthem or an unfamiliar psalm.”

I was pleased to have fallen at the first hurdle. But as I was to discover, Miss Eleanor E. Monday didn’t give up easily.

“What piece have you chosen to sing, child?” she asked me when I reached the front of the line.

“I haven’t chosen anything,” I told her.

She opened a hymn book, handed it to me and sat down at the piano. I smiled at the thought that I might still be able to make the second half of our Sunday morning football game. She began to play a familiar tune, and when I saw my mother glaring at me from the front row of pews, I decided I’d better go through with it, just to keep her happy.

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small. All things wise and wonderful…” A smile had appeared on Miss Monday’s face long before I reached “the Lord God made them all.”

“What’s your name, child?” she asked.

“Harry Clifton, miss.”

“Harry Clifton, you will report for choir practice on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at six o’clock sharp.” Turning to the boy standing behind me, she said, “Next!”

I promised my mum I’d be on time for the first choir practice, even though I knew it would be my last, as Miss Monday would soon realize I couldn’t read or write. And it would have been my last, if it hadn’t been obvious to anyone listening that my singing voice was in a different class to that of any other boy in the choir. In fact, the moment I opened my mouth, everyone fell silent, and the looks of admiration, even awe, that I had desperately sought on the football field, were happening in church. Miss Monday pretended not to notice.

After she dismissed us, I didn’t go home, but ran all the way to the docks so I could ask Mr. Tar what I should do about the fact that I couldn’t read or write. I listened carefully to the old man’s advice, and the next day I went back to school and took my place in Mr. Holcombe’s class. The schoolmaster couldn’t hide his surprise when he saw me sitting in the front row, and was even more surprised when I paid close attention to the morning lesson for the first time.

Mr. Holcombe began by teaching me the alphabet, and within days I could write out all twenty-six letters, if not always in the correct order. My mum would have helped me when I got home in the afternoon but, like the rest of my family, she also couldn’t read or write.

Uncle Stan could just about scrawl his signature, and although he could tell the difference between a packet of Wills’s Star and Wild Woodbines, I was fairly sure he couldn’t actually read the labels. Despite his unhelpful mutterings, I set about writing the alphabet on any piece of scrap paper I could find. Uncle Stan didn’t seem to notice that the torn-up newspaper in the privy was always covered in letters.

Once I’d mastered the alphabet, Mr. Holcombe introduced me to a few simple words: “dog,” “cat,” “mum” and “dad.” That was when I first asked him about my dad, hoping that he might be able to tell me something about him. After all, he seemed to know everything. But he seemed puzzled that I knew so little about my own dad. A week later he wrote my first four-letter word on the blackboard, “book,” and then five, “house,” and six, “school.” By the end of the month, I could write my first sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” which, Mr. Holcombe pointed out, contained every letter in the alphabet. I checked, and he turned out to be right.

By the end of term I could spell “anthem,” “psalm” and even “hymn,” although Mr. Holcombe kept reminding me I still dropped my aitches whenever I spoke. But then we broke up for the holidays and I began to worry I would never pass Miss Monday’s demanding test without Mr. Holcombe’s help. And that might have been the case, if Old Jack hadn’t taken his place.

*   *   *

I was half an hour early for choir practice on the Friday evening when I knew I would have to pass my second test if I hoped to continue as a member of the choir. I sat silently in the stalls, hoping Miss Monday would pick on someone else before she called on me.

I had already passed the first test with what Miss Monday had described as flying colors. We had all been asked to recite The Lord’s Prayer. This was not a problem for me, because for as long as I could remember my mum knelt by my bed each night and repeated the familiar words before tucking me up. However, Miss Monday’s next test was to prove far more demanding.

By this time, the end of our second month, we were expected to read a psalm out loud, in front of the rest of the choir. I chose Psalm 121, which I also knew off by heart, having sung it so often in the past. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. I could only hope that my help cometh from the Lord. Although I was able to turn to the correct page in the psalm book, as I could now count from one to a hundred, I feared Miss Monday would realize that I was unable to follow every verse line by line. If she did, she didn’t let on, because I remained in the choir stalls for another month while two other miscreants—her word, not that I knew what it meant until I asked Mr. Holcombe the next day—were dispatched back to the congregation.

When the time came for me to take the third and final test, I was ready for it. Miss Monday asked those of us who remained to write out the Ten Commandments in the correct order without referring to the Book of Exodus.

The choir mistress turned a blind eye to the fact that I placed theft ahead of murder, couldn’t spell “adultery,” and certainly didn’t know what it meant. Only after two other miscreants were summarily dismissed for lesser offenses did I realize just how exceptional my voice must be.

On the first Sunday of Advent, Miss Monday announced that she had selected three new trebles—or “little angels,” as the Reverend Watts was wont to describe us—to join her choir, the remainder having been rejected for committing such unforgivable sins as chattering during the sermon, sucking a gobstopper and, in the case of two boys, being caught playing conkers during the “Nunc Dimittis.”

The following Sunday, I dressed up in a long blue cassock with a ruffled white collar. I alone was allowed to wear a bronze medallion of the Virgin Mother around my neck, to show that I had been selected as the treble soloist. I would have proudly worn the medallion all the way back home, even to school the next morning, to show off to the rest of the lads, if only Miss Monday hadn’t retrieved it at the end of each service.

On Sundays I was transported into another world, but I feared this state of delirium could not last forever.

ONLY TIME WILL TELL. Copyright 2011 by Jeffrey Archer

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Only Time Will Tell (Clifton Chronicles Series #1) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 273 reviews.
DeborahMO More than 1 year ago
I am not completely finished with this book, but just had to add my review so that those who may be hesitating because of the Nook price of $14.99 will decide to read it anyway. Absolutely one of my best books of the year so far. I am so very glad that this is a series. Don't you hate it when a book you love ends, knowing there is no continuation ahead? I do.
BookaholicTracy More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. Very entertaining and intelligently written.
Elle_Wilvee More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, the writing was simple and straight forward; it's the plot and characters that draw you in. I finished the book in only a few sittings, the last one keeping me up until 1 in the morning because I had to find out what happened to Harry. My only criticism would be the strange way the author keeps changing the point of view. I enjoyed having different sections focusing on different characters, but I don't think the first person point of view chapters really added anything to the story and at first they only confused me. They also don't really sound different enough to be believable. Overall, an enjoyable quick read and I'm excited for the next in the series. I won this book through Goodreads FirstReads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have made it to page sixty something out of 344 pages on my NOOK. I now want to scream. I bought this book because it has a sequel and I love good, long books that I can get involved in for awhile. I won't be buying the sequel but I will force my way through this one because I paid ten dollars for it. No insult to the author intended here. He probably intentionally writes to a teenage audience. No sex, violence or four-letter words here which is great; many authors use too much. I would recommend this to any beginning or intermediate reader but not to the mature, avid reader. I just finished Ken Follet's WORLD WITHOUT END, nearly 1,000 pages on my NOOK and I guess this book is too much of a come-down from something like that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would recommend. This was a little difficult to get into because the story goes back and forth with it's characters. However, it is well written and kept me reading. The only downside is that the story ends up in the air and you need to wait until next year when the sequel follows!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read other books by Jeffrey Archer, couldn't wait to read this one. Found the story lines shallow and the writing was elementary at best. Read like it was written for junior high readers. A great saga is Fall Of Giants by Ken Follett. Don't waste your time on this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How anyone could compare this book to Kane and Abel is astounding! If Kane and Abel was one of the best books that I have ever read, this definitely was the worst book that I have ever read. Just the fact that it kept reiterating chapters was so annoying, but the story line was completely ridiculous. I can't imagine a sequel to this book. I continued reading this because I was hoping it would get better. It only got worse. Actually I don't even believe that Jeffrey Archer wrote this.
A_Woman More than 1 year ago
An entertaining time killer. The pacing is consistent. The writing isn't too taxing on the brain. Warning: it does end on a cliffhanger for those of you who don't like that kind of thing.
JudeEwill More than 1 year ago
I was enjoying this book until I got to the very end. Then I wanted to strangle the author. I immediately bought the sequel, "Sins of the Father," and had the same reaction at the end. Perhaps the author plans another book, but I'm not sure I would bother reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the writing style. Each chapter gives you the narratuve from a different main character.....moving the storyline forward just a bit. What a great way to really absorb the story which is full of twists and rurns and scandal and love and friendship. Can't wait to read the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little off beat because Archer changes the narrator throughout but overall it was a good book and I am looking forward to the series.
Ellen Stokes More than 1 year ago
Will add to my list of favorites, worth every penny Ellenkate
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing. I couldn't read it fast enough. A great story -- will written. I am looking forward to the next Harry tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I bought all three of Archer's Clifton Chronicle Series books at the same time I never expected to read all three in a row. Only Time Will Tell is superb and having only read Kane and Abel of Jeffrey Archer I was pleasantly surprised to discover this autobiographical series even existed. If you like historical fiction and characters with great depth you will love the story Of Harry Cliftons boyhood and his history which was so influenced by his father in Only Time Will Tell. This first book sets up the most influential characters in Harry's Life and introduces them in great detail. This early book covers his childhood and at the end has Harry having to decide if he will enter the Navy or return to his Bristol school . He also discovers the love of his life and expects to live happily ever after until the Sins of His Father come to light and Harry's life is dramatically impacted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, this may not be and it may be. I fell in love with the charactors in this book. The plot and development was outsanding. Not a brain teaser but flowed well and solidly written. Not a hard read but entertaining. I read approximately thirty pages and put it down. Later that nite i picked it back up for a bed time read. Read halfway thru, tried to go to sleep...... didnt work. Finished the book which resulted in one and a half hours of sleep. No regrets. But I am tired. Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read every book he has ever written, starting with "As the Crow Flies! This book will get you into the characters, the next one comes out in late winter. Can't wait. Jeffrey is always worth it!
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Part one of the Clifton Chronicles seems to be all about introducing us to the characters. Not much happens, but we have a rich/poor intersection that may or may not be problematic if Harry ever returns to Britain. Right now he is busy elsewhere, under an assumed name. I am neither here nor there on the the book just yet.
Tante143 8 months ago
This 7 Book Saga takes place over the lifetime of Harry Clifton. I stumbled upon this book on B&N when looking for something new to read. I like the feature "If you liked this book, you may like..." I am now looking for another book and will go with another series by Jeffrey Archer. This is a book that I recommend every time someone is looking for something to read. I LOVED that there were 7 Novels! I was lucky that I found this series at Book 6 so I only had to wait a few months for the last book! I can actually picture this series as a movie.
ronnies4 9 months ago
Always loved Jeffrey Archer. This book is not for me. Not interested in family sagas. I like modern times. Make your own decision.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book ended abruptly with a cliff-hanger. Was there advance warning in the synopsis? Will I buy the next book to see what happens, then the next, the next ...? Nope. Not a chance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like when a book keeps you wanting to pick it up. This book does that.
dgmlrhodes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jeffrey Archer is a master story teller. I have always enjoyed his books, but this is probably my favorite that I have read (so far). The characters in this book are extremely engaging - right from the start of the book. The main character, Harry, is so hardworking, sensitive and with so many obstacles to overcome that you find yourself rooting for him from the start. The story moves well and keeps you wanting to keep on reading. This book is the first book in a series. If I were to voice any criticism of this book at all, it is the fact that it ends somewhat abruptly. However, from the perspective of wanting to read the next book, the ending certainly leaves you with a cliffhanger to want to wait for the next installment. Reader won a copy of this book from Good Reads First Reads. Thank you for selecting me to preview such an awesome book!
bookaholicmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have never read a book written by Jeffrey Archer before. After reading this book I will be looking out for more of his books. What an amazing storyteller!Only Time Will Tell tells the story of two families, the Barringtons, a well to do family and the Cliftons, a struggling family. The Barringtons are shipping magnates while the Cliftons are hard working people. Young Harry Clifton's mother, Maisie is a waitress while his uncle is a dock worker as was his father. Young Harry believes his father died in the war. Maisie will do what she needs to do to get her son the type of education he needs to break the cycle. Harry has a phenomenal voice which just may be his ticket to a good school. When Harry goes off to school he meets Giles Barrington and the two become fast friends. The two boys become connected without realizing they may have always been connected. As Harry learns the truth about his father, the world is getting closer to being at war and decisions are made which will affect them all.Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of another character. I found this extremely interesting even though some of the same storyline was retold. It gave me a different look at the situation as it happened. Seeing the same situation through the eyes of another can be quite eye-opening.The characters are well developed. I felt I knew each character very well. The author does a fantastic job creating each character's personality. Each character seems to be harboring some sort of secret by the time this book ends. Some of the characters are not very likeable but make for great reading. Every saga needs a good villain or two. Other characters such as Maisie and Harry will capture your heart. You can't help but feel for Harry and Maisie. I kept hoping life would get easier for them.The book ends with a huge cliffhanger that has me dying to get my hands on the next installment of this series. I find myself wondering what will happen to each of the characters in the book. This book ends with many unanswered questions but I knew going into this book it was a series spanning many years and many generations. I adore a good family saga and this one does not disappoint! I loved all the unexpected twists. I can't wait to see where Mr. Archer plans on taking this storyline next! He has made me a big fan! I just hope we don't have to wait too long for the next book! I know I'll be reading all installments of The Clifton Chronicles. You don't want to miss this series!
suetu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Only time will tell¿ how many years it will take to get the full story!Remember decades ago when Jeffrey Archer used to write those fantastic epics? Kane & Able, As the Crow Flies; that¿s what I¿m talking about! Here¿s the good news: His latest novel, Only Time Will Tell harkens back to his glory days. It¿s the most entertaining thing he¿s written in years, in my humble opinion. Here¿s the bad news: What once would have been a juicy epic tale has fallen victim to the publishing industry¿s current trend of trilogizing. (New word. I coined it.) Except, except, this is NOT a trilogy¿this is, in fact, the first of the FIVE planned novels that will comprise The Clifton Chronicles. And as entertaining as the book is, and I¿ll get back to that in a moment, this is very annoying. Back in the day, you write an epic, it¿s 600 or 800 or even 1,000 pages. James Michener did it. James Clavell did it. And, yes, Jeffrey Archer did it. But in the very recent past, some marketing genius realized that you could get readers to pay a lot more for a long book by chopping it into pieces. Maybe pad the text a little, and leave some white space on the pages. What once might have been an 800-page novel is now three 300-page novels. It is the era of the trilogy. And writers don¿t even have to worry about writing in story arcs to end each segment. No, just end them wherever¿or even better, end on cliff-hanger! And don¿t warn readers that they¿re only getting a very incomplete portion of the story they signed on to read! And make them wait years to get to the conclusion!Sorry, was I ranting? It¿s true that Mr. Archer (Sir Jeffrey?) and his publishers are guilty of most of my complaints above. For instance, this novel ends very abruptly, with no sort of resolution at all, on a cliff-hanger. So, yes, this new trend is really bugging me. I¿ll move on now.The series is named the Clifton Chronicles after the protagonist, Harry Clifton. This novel opens in 1919, when Harry is a mere gleam in his father¿s eye. What follows is roughly the first 20 years of that young man¿s life. Despite his very modest circumstances, Harry, it turns out, is a gifted fellow. In addition to being very bright, he¿s a truly exceptional singer. Harry¿s talents are recognized by several people in a position to nurture them, and so it comes to pass that this dock worker¿s son has an opportunity for an education and a future his family could not have imagined.This first book covers Harry¿s school years¿the friends and enemies he makes along the way, the triumphs and setbacks, the secrets and lies, and the many, many melodramas. Archer is at his soapy best, and Harry¿s story is engaging, eventful, and fast-paced. He¿s a likable protagonist, a veritable paragon of virtue, as are his mother, friends, educators, and so forth. You¿ll know the baddies when you see them. Archer¿s characters are not nuanced. What you see is what you get. But none of this takes away from the fun of the story being told. Only Time Will Tell is not challenging or literary; it¿s just good old-fashioned escapist fiction. I had a great time reading it. And as much as I grumble, I will be back for part two. Grrr.
asigg44 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won this book from Library Thing's First Reads.This is a very good book! It is the first book in a series and is a great story of a boy named Harry Clifton. This book starts out in the early 1900's in Bristol, England. Harry's father, Arthur Clifton, who is a dock worker, mysteriously vanishes with no explanation. His mother, Maisie Clifton, is forced to go to work in a tea shop to support them. This story encompasses a span of time from when Harry begins school, until the time that Harry is set to go to college at Oxford. There are many important people from Harry's life who tell this story from their perspective as the story goes on.I loved how the author switches the story-tellers at each important point in Harry's life. There is action, adventure, romance and mystery in this book.I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series, as this book is ended at a pivotal point, which makes the reader eager to continue this story. Very good, delightful book!