Only Time Will Tell, released in 2011, is the first of the five books in the Clifton Chronicles which is said to be Jeffrey Archer’s most ambitious project. Set in Bristol, England, this first volume is about Harry Clifton and his life from his birth in 1920 to the beginning of the Second World War.
is the author of a number of bestselling novels, short stories and non-fiction
books. His first book ‘Not a Penny More Not a Penny Less’ was accepted
worldwide with great fervour and he never had to look back after that. Up till
now his books have sold more than 250 million copies!
reading Jeffrey Archer upon recommendation by a friend. The first book that I
picked up was ‘Paths of Glory’ which made a fan out of me.
Only Time Will Tell,
released in 2011, is the first of the five books in the Clifton Chronicles
which is said to be Jeffrey Archer’s most ambitious project. Set in Bristol,
England, this first volume is about Harry Clifton and his life from his birth
in 1920 to the beginning of the Second World War.
Harry is a talented
and intelligent boy who unfortunately dislikes going to school. Instead he
loves to go to the city docks with his uncle Stanley and fool around. He loves
playing football too, but his real talent, as he later finds out, is in
singing. By the clever efforts of his mother Maisie, the form master Mr.
Holcombe, the choir mistress Miss Monday and the mysterious Old Jack Tar, he
starts taking his studies seriously. And starts mesmerising others by his
Amidst all these
happenings, there is something that keeps on nagging Harry. He is convinced
that there is some secret behind the death of his father. Everyone tells him
that his father Arthur Clifton was killed in the First World War; Harry is not
fooled because then he could not have been born in 1920.
The novel goes
on to tell us how Harry fares in his education, singing, friendships and love
life. He also gets to know about the secret that everyone had hidden from him
for many years.
There are many
interesting characters in this novel; Maisie Clifton the most important perhaps.
As Harry’s mother, the role she plays in every step that Harry takes is vital,
even if Harry fails to fully understand her pains. The way she copes with
closed doors and strokes of bad luck is depicted wonderfully. Old Jack Tar, the
man with a past, is adorable and Hugo Barrington, the antagonist is entirely detestable.
Only Time will
Tell was released in Bangalore by Jeffrey Archer himself. The book sold out in
India the same day. What I like about Jeffrey Archer’s books is that it talks
about people who excel in their respective fields. After reading his novels one
feels like putting in some more effort and that success is not that far, as
long as you keep on reaching for it.
While I do not
have any complaints regarding ‘Only Time will Tell’, I expected a little more
from this book. It is not as interesting as, say ‘A Prisoner of Birth’. I would
give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. The second book ‘The Sins of the Father’ is
out now. I will definitely be reading it and you can expect a review of it too.