Today I check the first part of the Clifton Chronicles. In total, there are 7 parts (the English editions are already all published on Kindle while the last book in German will be published in December 2017). I love starting late with a series because I don’t have to wait for the next book to publish and can immediately start reading the next part!
Title: Only Time Will Tell
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Published: September 2011 (first part of the chronicles)
Number of pages: 449
Summary: 1920 – a family chronicle begins. Young boy Harry lost his father and his mother tries everything possible to offer her son the best education. What Harry doesn’t know, before his parents married, his mother had a one-night stand with a businessman. Who is Harry’s father? Can Harry inherent an empire and escape poverty?
The book is depicted from different perspectives. The first three perspectives were much needed to understand the events in the past since Harry can tell what happened when he was baby. The fourth and fifth perspectives were in my opinion not necessary. In every perspective the plot until this point of time is repeated and afterwards the story continues. Then the next person recaps what happened (from the beginning!). So I basically read the same story five times. Sorry Jeffrey Archer, but my memory isn’t that bad! In the end, I just skipped the recaps.
The setting of this book is very well described. The plot starts 1920 but continues until the start of the Second World War. The situation of Harry’s mother probably represents many women in that time. She is a poor single mother trying to offer her son a better future. In contrast to Harry’s family, the family life of the rich “one-night stand businessman” offers another point of view of life in that time. The twists and turns in the plot made the book captivating. The plot isn’t predictable and sometimes you are going to think that this can’t be happing right now. Hence, I was really suffering with the characters.
Of course the ending was an immense cliffhanger so I am definitely going to buy the next part! I just hope that the perspectives in part 2 don’t change as often…For now, I rate this book 4/5.