Jeffery Archer, the author of past bestsellers like Kane and Abel, Not a penny more not a penny less and many more have been regularly churning out novels every year now and his latest offering is one of his most ambitious project called the ‘Clifton Chronicles’ where he intends to write about Clifton family starting from 1920 till 2020, spread over 5 books. The first book of the series is ‘Only Time will Tell’, which tells the story of Harry Clifton starting from 1920 till 1940, the period between the 2 great wars.
The story begins around 1920, when young Harry is born to a hardworking mother and a missing father. Harry is a brilliant child and he gets to go to school and then college mainly due to her hardworking mother, some generous help by his teachers, guides and friends. He meets friends in school and meets a girl later with whom he falls in love, only to discover that the girl’s father does not like him for reasons which have been known to only few. There are various twists and turns and secrets which get revealed. The book has an open ended, somewhat unexpected but as this book is going to have sequels its is quite apt to build up the suspense and interest.
The style of writing is very typical Jeffery Archer and to be frank there is hardly any novelty in the story too. The story and characters are quite predictable and you almost know how everything is going to pan out by the end. The earlier part of book concentrating on school life of Harry and his friends is interesting and almost reminds you of one other HARRY we all know, but when the same story is told over and over from different character’s viewpoints it gets bit tedious and you really want to book to move forward quickly. The plot looks quite out of Kane and Abel or similar past novels of Archer.
Overall the book is a good read and hopefully the next parts of the series would be better. Although this might be author’s most ambitious project in a long time, it certainly isnt his best.
My Ratings : 6.5/ 10 – Do read if you like Archer and his very British stories.