fiction · review

Only Time Will Tell-Jeffrey Archer


How do I choose the authors?

I use a google search, surf through good reads and look for the latest books published and the reviews.Jeffrey Archer seemed to catch my eye way back in 2012 when his work ‘Sins of the Father’ Book 2 of the Clifton got published.I was a hardcore fan of Dan Brown then who did not bother to like any other author other than him.I had ordered the other books in homeshop18 in 2013 and the books have been relaxing in my shelf since then.

With the good reads app gaining more momentum in me this year-2015, I had set up goals for 2015 as 12 books for the entire year, I know it is very less that averages about 1 book a month given my idle time at home this year. I chose diversified genres to level down my boredom. ‘Clifton Chronicles’ was one of them.I had thanked homeshop18 after almost 2.5 years of ordering for the condition of the book and also the elevated hologram printed on the book attracted  my attention.

The book starts with the family tree of the Clifton’s and Barrington’s. Yes, as rightly guessed by you,Cliftons belong to a blue collared class and the Barringtons are the white collared aristocratic ones.The book is neatly diversified based on the lead characters of the story starting with Harry Clifton, Maisie Clifton, Old Jack Tar,Hugo Barrington, Giles Barrington, Emma Barrington and Harry Clifton in the epilogue.You must be wondering who is the Old Jack Tar- He is the mentor of Harry, guardian of the guards and one and only Captain Tarrant.Though he does not belong to either of the families of the lead characters, his presence moved the cornerstone of the climax into a limelight.This story dates back to the decade of 1931-40.

Maisie Clifton was a beautiful woman whom every guy would like to sleep with. Her silhouette had attracted Hugo Barrington who actually made love with her before Maisie got married to Arthur Clifton and Maisie was in love with Arthur.Later to the discovery and amazement, Harry belonged to Hugo’s bloodline and not Arthur’s that had raised an immense amount of concerns with Hugo.Arthur had died in the Maple Shipbuilding when he could not return after a thorough supervision of the dock after his shift and the dock doors were locked unnoticed.Hugo-the boss had concealed this fact by paying a ransom to Stan who was also Maisie’s brother

Harry seemed to turn out to be the heir of the Barrington’s wealth since he was the eldest son though born illegitimate.Unknowingly he had fallen in love with Emma, his best friend-Giles’ sister who are the Barringtons.

The story talks about how Hugo tries to destroy Maisie and her son’s life in the lieu of not making him the legal heir for the wealth accumulated by the Barrington’s.This also narrates a series of incidents as to how Harry grows up from a baby to a handsome young man and what all Maisie had gone through to raise him from rags to the Oxford education and her sacrifices in all the phases of his life.

Harry had two best friends from the Bristol Grammar school- Giles and Deakins who also happened to stay in touch with Harry throughout the first chronicle other than the climax.

The story ends with a climax where the wedding of Harry and Emma gets annulled after Old Jack Tar reveals to the pastor of the wedding that both of them belong to the same father-Hugo and apparently both of them deemed to be half-siblings.The entire family is taken by a shock other than Maisie and Hugo(who was absent for the wedding) after knowing the fact.

Harry’s love for Emma takes him through a rough life afterward where he wakes up to a death bed in America and as the survivor of the ship blown out by Germany’s U-boats on English ships as a result of a war between these European nations.Harry had promised his mom and Emma that he would prove with facts that he belongs to the Cliftons and touch his lady loves hand who had conceived their child.Unfortunately,Harry lands up behind the bars for an unknown murder that was committed by Tom Bradshaw whose identity Harry had taken in order to conceal the facts of his survival to the Barringtons so that Giles inherit the family’s wealth.

Only Time Will Tell if Harry is able to prove the facts of his bloodline and how he comes out of Tom’s identity is a question every reader would ask in the end.

My review might not be the best to appreciate a wonderful narration by one of the world’s best authors in the world, but rather interesting and makes one to grab a copy in hand and do a deep dive into Clifton’s life history.


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