Only Time Will Tell
About the Book:
Only Time Will Tell Book
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Series: The Clifton Chronicles (Book 1)
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks; Reprint edition
Publish date: February 28, 2012
Pages: 464 eBook pages can be different
What an incredible book. Not just in plot, but in nuance too. This was the 1st book I read by Jeffrey Archer, but I have every intention of reading all the other books after this one.
This book is well structured so that each section is from one person’s viewpoint. Harry, Maisie, Jack Tar, Hugo, Giles and Emma all get an individual section. (Harry gets the 1st and last section. Maisie gets an extra few pages in the preamble.) Sounds like a mutual association, but here is where it gets really attention-grabbing: each section starts with a 1st person account as the 1st chapter. The remaining chapters are told by a 3rd present ubiquitous narrator still focused on that character. The narrator sporadically provides some insight into what the other people currently in the scene are thinking. The best part, in my view, is that these tales overlap. I have read books in which each section tells the subsequent part of the story, and I have read books in which each section tells the similar story from multiple viewpoints. Each chronicle, while covering part of the same story, also accelerates the narration. The striking part of this was that the overlapping parts engrossed on the things that character found significant or were germane to that character.
Therein lies the evidence of incredible writing and a detailed understanding of how people reflect. These characters are extremely well developed. We are even given a chance to explore the world through the eyes of the desperado. Each character’s narrative fills in gaps left in former matters because either that character didn’t think it was that significant or because the former narrator didn’t know. This gives the narration a slight sense of mystery and a huge nous of the inter-connectedness of people.
This is a tale about coincidences, about what folks will do for love, about how life can go full swing, and how folks get their due. This is a tale about amity, about the way different endeavors are significant to different people, and about in what way the actions of others – that we don’t even know about – can affect several aspects of our lives. This is a chronicle about disastrous conditions, about class prejudice, and about improvement. This is a gorgeously written book.
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