Publisher/Format: ARC bound galley St Martin's Press 400 pgs
Year of publication: 2011
Subject: Class struggles, family secrets
Setting: England 1920-1939
Series: The Clifton Chronicles
Genre: historical fiction; family saga
Source: Review copy from publisher
The three lucky people listed below are in for a treat. I haven't read Jeffrey Archer for years, and now I wonder why. This new series featuring Harry Clifton, son of a dockworker (or is he the son of an upper crust owner of a huge shipping line?), and his climb through the British public school system is going to be a delight if this first one of five is any indication. Make no mistake, this is not a Pulitzer, but it is good, solid storytelling, with bold characters, a world wide setting, and a story that has enough twists, turns, and sneaky heart-stoppers to definitely merit the label "page turner."
The story involves Harry, as he grows from an angelic choirboy into an intelligent, hardworking young man faced with the difficult choice of going to Oxford upon graduation from the US equivalent of high school, or joining the armed forces as Britain enters the war against Hitler. His romance with the sister of his best friend, together with some of the aforementioned story twists makes his choice even more difficult. Harry's mother, a hard-working widow, who takes a series of back-breaking jobs to help with Harry's expenses, is harboring a secret about Harry's parentage. This secret, if revealed could destroy lives, and Archer skillfully weaves his story around it.
My only problem with the book was the absolutely sucker punch ending. I was left gasping, yelling "Don't do that to me!!." I will be among thousands lined up to get my hands on the second book in the series to find out what happens next. The Clifton Chronicles promises to keep us all enthralled for several years to come.
So without further ado, here are the lucky winners:
They've been sent an email notifying them and have until Wednesday August 31st to get me their mailing addresses or we'll have to pick another winner.
If you didn't win, there's still time to enter the giveaway at Peeking between The Pages. The deadline there is Sept 10th. Good Luck.