Only Time Will Tell
By Jeffrey Archer
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312539559, 400pp.)
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
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From the internationally bestselling author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph.
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.
Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain’s House of Commons and nineteen years in the House of Lords. All of his novels and short story collections--including And Thereby Hangs a Tale, Kane and Abel, Paths of Glory and False Impression--have been international bestselling books. Archer is married with two sons and lives in London and Cambridge.
Praise for Only Time Will Tell
“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.”
“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 (starred Review)
“I was utterly hooked. It was an absurdly enjoyable read.”
---Anthony Horowitz, Daily Telegraph (London)
Praise for Jeffrey Archer
“A dynamite commercial novel…Archer brings it off with panache.”
---The Washington Post on A Prisoner of Birth
“A compelling read…The pace never flags.”
---Newsday (New York) on A Prisoner of Birth
“One of the top ten storytellers in the world.”
---Los Angeles Times
“Archer is a master entertainer.”
“A storyteller in the class of Alexandre Dumas.”
---The Washington Post on A Twist in the Tale
“There isn’t a better storyteller alive.”
“Kane and Abel…that classic of modern literature.”
---The Times (London)