Harry Clifton has never met his father. Or has he? Giles Barrington is his father’s oldest son. Or is he? Old Man Tar was never a person of consequence. Or was he?
These (and other) characters inhabiting Bristol, England, in the years after World War I are destined to live intertwined existences as the actions of people one or two generations removed begin to bear fruit. Love and lust, honor and dishonor, success and failure all figure into the major character’s lives in a dizzying array of dramas large and small over the nearly two decades that this volume chronicles.
Prolific author Jeffrey Archer has promised another four volumes in this saga, and it will take at least that many to bring together all of the threads started in this one. In typical Archer fashion, each player is unique and interesting, and the revelations keep coming with nearly every chapter. As expected, there is a startling, almost cliffhanger ending.
The chapter flow is a pattern I have not seen before, but it works splendidly for this style of story. The work is divided into miniature books, each one beginning with a first-person introduction from one character’s point of view. The rest of that mini-book is devoted to a part of the whole story that is centered around that character. The overlaps between the mini-books are where the best gems are found, and as a reader, this was an extremely enjoyable way to live with these individuals.
Rated: Mild. Just over a dozen mild terms, and brief discussions of sexual intimacy with no descriptive details.