Book Review: Only Time Will Tell


Clifton Chronicles #1 (2011)images (4)

Three days and I’m done reading the first part, a National Bestseller. I’ve to buck up my reading pace to know what’s next. Jeffrey Archer forces us to indulge and leaves us hanging at the end forcing us to read the next one on series. The truth is I’ve never read any of Jeffrey Archer works before may be cause of its small font or the number of pages that makes me stuck to read till end. Whatever made me read to its first page turn out to finish until last the fourth volume.

Jeffrey Howard Archer, born of 15 April 1940 is a former politician who had resigned twice from Parliament after disputes in some financial scandal. His books sold over 250 million copies over which Clifton chronicles one of the best.

“I was told that my father was killed in the war”

Clifton Chronicles begins with Harry Clifton life from Great War to the outbreak of second war. His story tails from 1919 with a tragic part about his father’s death in the backstreet of Bristol.

Along the lines you might compare harry life with the character of Harry in Harry Potter because somewhere between those lines is a slight scheme of ‘rags to riches’ or am I thinking too much? He gets scholarship in an exclusively boys public school where he gets better education. Moreover, he falls in love with an attractive woman and daughter of Hugo Barrington, the owner of the shipping line where Harry’s Father had worked.

Harry’s father, a doc worker in Bristol died in an accident is a mystery since the cause is unknown to him and his mother,  Maise Clifton. Uncle Stan (Maise Brother) never tells the truth what had happened to Harry’s father.  When he gets to know the awful truth that there is a possibility that he could be the first-born son or heir to the shipping line. There goes us again gripping the book even further thinking of ideas while making our imagination wonder.

At the age of 12, Harry sings in the choir as the solo lead where the boys and girls of his age never had a talent that is rare like his. His mother works hard by changing jobs as a waitress and with sole determination enrolls him in best school and education. He befriends with Giles Barrington, the son of Hugo Barrington, owner of Bristol shipping company. However, Barrington hates him for no clear reason, which leaves our curiosity to know why. It may have a predictable twist but I believe in not admitting it after all what suspense it could be if you know it. The path to a great riches  is the obstacles that comes with great tensions and to know whether he’d be bullied or how shall he see the world when his father got killed in war as they say. Will he and Giles be friends forever? Or will Emma accept him the way he is? Will he get a scholarship to Bristol Grammar School?  Will his mother’s tea shop succeed so that she can pay the fees? Everything revolves around Harry but with the number of question marks bring us the twist that would enlighten the story.

“By the way Harry… I’ve just read your essay on Jane Austen, and I was fascinated by your suggestion that if Miss Austen had been able to go to university, she might never have written a novel, and even if she had, her work probably wouldn’t have been so insightful.’

‘Sometimes it’s an advantage to be disadvantaged,’ said Harry.

‘That doesn’t sound like Jane Austen,’ said Mr Frobisher.

‘It wasn’t,’ replied Harry. ‘But it was said by someone else who didn’t go to university,’ he added without explanation.”

The narration part from the first volume is excellent as told from various perceptive and each version carries us to an element of suspense. The story ends with a cliffhanger and earning to buy another of his book to read the rest of the mystery.

Loved all the books from his series except in second volume you may find it bit dragging somewhere in middle and all too predictable ending in second volume of Clifton chronicles. Clifton Chronicles is a mixture of family, friendship and romance in middle of history. However, It’s a very good book and language is simple and appreciable. Lovely read and I ‘d give a 4.5 stars /5.

I recommend this book. This book is available in amazon, ebay and all other book marts. Get it from flipkart India as there are amazing offers for paperback copies.

Yes ‘Only Time will tell’ as his life from the orphaned son from 20th century to oh lord – only time will tell! Read up and stay tuned for more reviews. 🙂

P.S: This post is a response to the Wednesday prompt #24 for the writetribe.com  🙂

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