Jeffrey Archer book review
Only Time Will Tell" is the opening volume in a new series from best-selling author Jeffrey Archer. The story is about Harry Clifton, an English boy who was a young English boy living in a solidly blue-collar home with his mother, uncle, and grandparents. It revolves around Harry Clifton, from his childhood till he goes to Oxford to pursue his under graduation. There are many main characters in the story which are Harry Clifton, Maisie, Giles Barrington, Old Jack Tar and Hugo Barrington.
The main character is Harry. Harry Clifton's life begins in 1920 with the words, "I was told that my father was killed in the war." Harry never knew his father, a dock worker in Bristol, but he learned about that life from his uncle, who expects Harry to join him at the shipyard once he's done with school. It is what had mentioned in the article Jeffrey Archer The Clifton Chronicles. (n.d.). Retrieved September 28, 2017, from jeffreyarcherbooks/only-time-will-tell/. Since he was young, he was told that his father was killed in the war but he died when he did final checks in the hull. His mother enrolled him in school, hoping for a brighter future for her son. However, Harry thought that going to school was a complete waste of time so he sneaked out of school regularly to the docks to make a new friend - Old Jack Tar, who lived in a discarded railway carriage.
Harry was ambitious as he wanted to achieve success in future. He started going to class and learning how to read and write from Mr. Holcombe after he got the chance to win a choral scholarship to the prestigious St. Bedes.He knew that only knowledge could make him successful in future. During the time studying in St. Bedes, Harry met the boys, Deakins and Giles who become his best friends and they grew up within the English school system. Harry really appreciated their friendship. For instance, he used all his money to buy chocolate for Deakins as his birthday gift and did not expect anything in return. For no apparent reason, Giles started shoplifting. Harry put everything back to protect him but was blamed for it. Luckily, Giles owned up, so Harry could go to Bristol grammar school after all.
Harry was also a determined and hardworking person to win the scholarship. He gave the effort to memorize psalm book by heart. He also spent hours with Deakins and Giles in the library. He knew that his weakness was English so he found ways to excel in English. Finally, his effort was paid off and he succeeded to get the highest grade among the students. Harry was a curious child. He always asked Old Jack Tar the questions that he did not understand. It could not be denied that Harry was a loving son. For an example, he spent all the money that he earned by delivering the newspapers to buy a new watch for his mother. To make his mother proud of him and reduce his mother's burden, he studied hard to enroll into Oxford College. Besides, Harry was polite and respectful to elder people. Although Hugo was always off-hand to Harry, he still respected Hugo and friendly to him.
On the other hand, Maisie was a determined woman.She was a single mother.After his husband died, she struggled hard to get a job in an era when women weren't supposed to be going out of their homes to work.She worked long and hard at Mrs. Tilly's tea shop to make ends meet.Maisie eventually bought the shop and after a lot of hard work, it made a profit. Then it burned down and she had to give nearly all the insurance money to Hugo Barrington who had, unknown to her, put up capital, so she was broke again. However, she did not give up and vowed to do anything she could pay Harry's school fees.
Maisie was a loving mother. She sacrificed a lot for Harry. Although she was a single mother and less educated, she managed to nurture Harry's natural talent and flair for music and language and sees to it that he gets the best. When she saw marks on the backside of Harry, she quickly rushed to Merrywood Elementary with the intention of giving his teacher a piece of her mind. Although the items that were needed for Harry to use in school were very expensive, she bought them without any hesitation.
Being responsible was what Maisie had shown throughout the story. She was responsible for work. She was not only serving her customers but she also remembered their names and their favorite drinks. It made her able to get an offer from Mr. Frampton to in charge of the coffee room which was known as the Palm Court in the Royal Hotel. She was nostalgic. She redeemed the wedding ring although she had sold it out. She hesitated to accept Mr. Frampton's offer because Mrs.Tily helped her a lot and gave her much encouragement. Maisie was brave to face Hugo Barrington to get Harry's school fees from him and take the risk to in charge of Tilly's Tea Shop.
Another character is Giles Barrington.He was the son of Hugo Barrington. The shipyard owner.He was friendly as he was the first person who befriended Harry as he gave Harry him a new brand of toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste.Giles was related to the three men who knew the truth about his father's death.His parents have high expectation on Giles and they wanted him to follow his father's footsteps.It made Giles was reluctant to go to Eton. He was dishonest when he started shoplifting at the tuck shop and he actually gave all the things he stole to Harry and Deakins. However, when he knew that Harry had the possibility to be expelled from the school, he went to meet Mr. Frobisher to admit that he is the actual person who stole things from the shop.Harry was innocent and he put all the unwanted gift back to the shop just to avoid Giles being caught red-handed.It proved that Giles had a clear conscience and he was willing to admit his own mistakes.
He was a loving son.It can be shown that when his mother brought his sister, Emma to go away from his father, he worried and tried to find out the place they would go.He asked help from Harry as he did not have money to go anywhere.Finally, they had the idea about the place where his mother would go after meeting with Old Jack Tar.Along the journey, he could not sleep well as he still worried about his mother and sister.He was afraid that they might face something dangerous after running away from the house.He was a hardworking student too. He always studied hard to get results with flying colors so he could meet his parents' expectations. He spent hours with his friends in the school library and did exercises after finishing his class.
Giles was friendly, brave to admit his own mistakes, loving and hardworking. It is the characteristics that could be found on Giles throughout the story. By learning his characteristics, we could learn to be friendly when communicating with others. Being friendly is the first step to foster a better relationship. It is brave to admit our own mistakes. When admitting our mistakes, we will take to correct the mistake. Although we can't change the past, we can avoid making the same mistake in the future. We can learn from our mistakes and do it better.
Old Jack Tar was one of the characters of the story.His actual name was Captain Tarrant. He lived in an abandoned railway carriage at the end of the sheds. He was a very knowledgeable person. He could answer every question that was asked by Harry and gave further explanation. He was good at geography.He taught Harry new words, new experience, even new worlds every week. He's smart, helpful, and highly motivated. He never thought negatively and always gave encouragement to Harry. When Harry ran away from St Bede's, he gave advice to Harry so that Harry will be brave to face Fisher, the school prefect. He also helped Maisie to find ways to pay Harry's school fees. He told Maisie the best way to get closer to Hugo Barrington, the actual biological father of Harry.He also made a deal with Hugo in order to get the money to pay Harry's fees. He was helpful when he tried to help Giles to find out his mother and his sister. He provided Giles the transportation to go to Scotland.
Last but not least, the Hugo Barrington was the father of Giles Barrington and Harry Clifton. It had been Hugo's idea to expand the business into shipbuilding and the first project was losing money. He was personally responsible for Clifton's death. He heard Clifton's tap. However, he hesitated to break open the hull as it might scupper the hope of making a profit on the contract and with the chance of becoming the chairman of the board. So, he gave the order to continue working although he heard the tap again. He was selfish as he only cared about what would benefit him.
When he knew that Harry Clifton was born earlier than Giles, he became unfriendly to Harry. He was so off-hand to Harry. Whenever Harry offered Hugo his hand, Hugo always tried to ignore Harry. When Maisie met him to ask for money, Hugo punched her in the face with all his strength. He was so rude to Maisie and Harry. Hugo Barrington was behaving more strangely as he realized that his daughter, Emma had fallen in love with Harry. Since then Hugo had done everything he could to make sure his illegitimate son, Harry, never inherited his fortune.
In my opinion, from the characters in the novel Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer, we could learn many good qualities and moral values. Those good values can be a key to self-motivation. We will have the power to go against the instinct and make the right choice to achieve success.Being responsible is a sign of good character, maturity, and reliability, and it is a desirable personality trait for everyone to possess. When people depend on a person to do something, it means that others believe the person is responsible enough to handle the task.From this story, we have learned the importance of knowledge in our life. Knowledge is the key to removing the darkness of ignorance. Knowledge has enabled us to make all the advancements in the science and technology spheres that we have been able to achieve. It has made us far more capable, superior and sophisticated beings on this earth.We also need to think positively.