Genre: Historical Fiction, Drama |
Format: Paperback, 450 pages
Date Finished: January 1, 2013
CoffeeNCrackers Rating: 4 Cups of Coffee
A secret past. A hidden destiny. A battle for the truth.
The epic tale of Harry Clifton's begins in 1919, in the backstreets of Bristol. His father was war hero, but it will be twenty-one tumultous years before Harry discovers the truth about hiow his father really died and if, in fact, he even was his father. "Only Time Will Tell" take a cast of memorable characters from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World war, when Harry must decide wether to take his place at Oxford, or join the fight agains Hitler's Germany. In Jeffrey Archer's masterful hands, you will be taken on a journey that you won't want to end, even after you turn the last page of thisunforgettable yarn, because you'll be faced with a dilemma that neither you, nor Harry clifton could ever have anticipated. -Back Cover
When I first read a book from Jeffrey Archer, "Paths of Glory", I was so fascinated by the author's style of storytelling. It remains as one of my all time favourite by the author. A few other books I read after that, "The Prisoner of Birth" and "Shall We Tell the President?" were as powerful. So, "Only Time Will Tell" is another solid proof that the author is one of the best master storyteller of his kind. The book is not only a great story of preserverence of Harry and his mother Maisie Clifton, but it captures the life and times of United Kingdom in that era beautifully.
Though I find out the whole idea and concept: fight between rich and poor, a mother whose willing to do everything for her son's future, family secrets that connected the characters together and worst break them apart, which make the core of the story is quite typical and outdated and have been used in many books, however it is the style of writing which differs the book from others. Each of every part of the story starts in a diary style which brings the reader to understand the feeling from each of the character's point of view. Each part of the book brings reader to understand the story from different perspectives without confusing the reader. At first, I thought that it's repetitive nature might make me loose my interest. However, as the story goes along the way, I really think that it is done brilliantly as the questions arise from the previous part are being answered in the next chapters.
Another strong aspect of this story is how well each of the characters is developed by the author. Besides Harry and his mother Maisie, other characters whose really fascinate me are Giles and Old Jack Tar. Their relationship with Harry clifton sometimes makes me a little bit emotional and brought lump in my troat. Giles for me is a very good friend which everybody wishes they have, and Old Jack Tar is a good father figure with bunch of advice and wisdom. Another strong character in this book is Hugo Barrington, whose willing to do anything to bring harm to each of every characters in this story. I have to admit that, he is one of my favorite villain.
In a nutshell, this is the story that will make you thinking how good is good and how bad is bad. Since this is the first book of the pentalogy, I'll be reading more of Harry Clifton's life in future. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys vivid characters and a coming of age story that highlights the best and worst in poeple.
FOOTNOTE: This review is linked back to the Saturday Situation, a fun weekly meme co-host by Candace at Candace's Book Blog and Lori at Pure Imagination.