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Only Time Will Tell: Book summary and reviews of Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer

Only Time Will Tell

The Clifton Chronicles #1

by Jeffrey Archer

Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer X
Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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 will never be the same again.

As he enters into adulthood, Harry 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 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 readers on a journey through to future volumes, which will bring to life one hundred years of recent history to reveal a family story that neither the reader nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. General readers as well as Archer fans will enjoy this unforgettable tale, which abounds with cliff-hangers that propel its intriguing and intricate plot." - Library Journal

"Starred Review.What appears at the outset to be a straightforward coming-of-age tale becomes, by the end, a saga of power, betrayal, and bitter hatred. The novel ends on a deliberately dark note, setting the stage for the sequel…An outstanding effort from a reliable veteran." - Booklist

"Archer delivers another page-turning, heart-stopping saga, with delightful twists, and a surprise ending… readers will surely wait for the next with bated breath." - Publishers Weekly

"I was utterly hooked. It was an absurdly enjoyable read." - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

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Brenda Schroeder

Great Start to a New Series
Not all the characters in this novel are likeable, but that's what makes it a real page turner. Plenty of suspenseful drama makes this book a great start to a new series that I'm really looking forward to reading.

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Author Information

Jeffrey Archer Author Biography

Jeffrey Archer was born in London and brought up in Somerset. He was educated at Wellington School, and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was President of the University Athletics Club, and went on to run the 100 yards in 9.6 seconds for Great Britain in 1966.

After leaving Oxford he was elected to the Greater London Council, and three years later at the age of 29, he became Member of Parliament for Louth. After five years in the Commons and a promising political career ahead of him, he invested heavily in a Canadian company called Aquablast, on the advice of the Bank of Boston. The company went into liquidation, and three directors were later sent to jail for fraud. Left with debts of £427,727, and on the brink of bankruptcy, he resigned from the House of Commons.

Aged 34, ...

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