ONLY TIME WILL TELL. By Jeffrey Archer. Macmillan. (Book ONE of the CLIFTON CHRONICLES.) A review by Granny. 3*** Two families, the Barringtons and the Cliftons, get seriously entwined in this tale that starts off in Bristol in 1919. A Works day out to Weston-Super-Mare, is an unlikely place to start a saga, but what a day it was. Our Hero, Harry Clifton, is born in 1920 and from that moment the mystery starts. I have never been a great reader of family sagas but, as I progressed from chapter to chapter, each one telling the story of the different characters in the story, I found myself anticipating what was to come next. Each character in the book took on a personality and brought a different perspective to the tale as it unfolded. The Barringtons, ship owners, titled, with the obligatory Black sheep. There has to be someone you can hiss at. The Cliftons, dock workers, poor and downtrodden, from whence our hero will rise. This first book takes us through the depression, a period when after the Great War, that one that was to end all wars, the country was till suffering from the loss of so many young lives. From Harry Cliftons birth, through his childhood, to define his education. I found that his rise from being a young lad who never went to school, who could neither read nor write, to his entry into Oxford University, a little difficult to believe. But maybe thats just me. Throw in a recluse with a Victoria Cross, a few school teachers, a choir Master, a selection of Dock workers and we have an eclectic mix. The descriptive way Jeffrey Archer takes us through this period was very clever. The build up of the characters was such that I wanted to get to the next chapter to see where we were heading. It took me two days to read the 387 pages, and it was a pleasure. I can only find two areas that I wasnt happy with. The discussion regarding his wish to enter the Royal Navy, at the outbreak of WW2, was I think slightly out. I doubt that the Captain of one of His Majestys Capital Ships would take on deck hands from shore. Even as far back as 1939 Im sure that the normal recruitment and training of Seaman members of the RN was mandatory. The second was on the very last page of the book. Our hero is arrested and given the Miranda warning. This warning came into force in 1966 , 27 years after our hero was given it. That apart, I enjoyed this book. I shall await the next book with much anticipation. I really do want to know how Harry manages to get out of his troubles, how his romantic endeavours come to fruition. Our Hero will get fair maiden, wont he? If he gets his wish, and joins the Royal Navy, I will await , with pleasure, the story as it progresses.