Monday, May 5, 2014

Only Time Will Tell

Title:  Only Time Will Tell
Author:  Jeffrey Archer
Publication Information:  St. Martin's Paperbacks. 2012. 464 pages.
ISBN:  0312539568 / 978-0312539566

Book Source:  I received this book through a GoodReads read along free of cost in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book I read as part of a GoodReads read along. It was interesting to participate in a section by section online conversation and get different perspectives over a period of time. I found myself reading a section and then following the discussion for that sections. A few posted spoilers did impact my reading, but overall a positive experience. It's very different from my local book club in that we read the entire book and then discuss it over the course of an evening. This experience was reading the book in a more segmented fashion, and discussing the segments over a period of time.

Favorite Quote:  "If you make a deal with a fool, don't be surprised when they act foolishly."

Only Time Will Tell is the first book in the Jeffrey Archer series, The Clifton Chronicles. So far, four books in the series have been released, and one more is expected.

The story begins in the 1920s with young Harry Clifton, living with his single mother. He knows that his father died in the war. He is young and spends more times on the docks than in school until certain teachers take an interest in him and give him direction. He does well in school, which puts him on a path different from the expected life on the docks.

Several mysteries run throughout the book. What actually happened to Harry's father? What is the relationship is between the Cliftons and the Barringtons, the rich owners of the shipping company? Who is Jack Tar, and why does he take such an interest in Harry? Slowly, the answers emerge and, in turn, lead to more questions. Be warned; this book ends on a cliffhanger, awaiting the start of book 2.

I enjoyed the structure of the book. It is divided into sections, each told from a different point of view. Each section covers part of the story from the previous section and then moves the story forward. Each section introduces new details that help complete another piece of the picture. Hearing each character's perspective adds some dimension to the characters. This really helps the book especially since most of the characters are clearly delineated as rich and poor, good and bad, heroes and villains. Hearing each perspective creates some depth.

This is the first Jeffrey Archer book that I have read. It reminded me of the Barbara Taylor Bradford book Emma and the series that came after. It is an entertaining family saga with the poor but hard working young man making his way in life, with the rich company owners making trouble, with a love relationship strife with troubles. It is an expected but easy to read and well written story. I look forward to reading more of the series.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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