Friday, December 15, 2017
Cometh the Hour and This Was a Man by Jeffrey Archer
I've been a Jeffrey Archer fan for over 20 years. When I need a fun, quick page-turner Jeffrey Archer is my go-to guy. So when I heard about the Clifton Chronicles, I couldn't wait to try it. It started out strong but the last few books could probably have been combined into one.
There are seven books in the series but I think the story could have been told just as well in 4.
The series covers the life of Harry Arthur Clifton and his life in Bristol, England. We read about his difficult childhood and his years at school. We are there as he falls in love with Emma Barrington and see the obstacles they face on their path to a life together. The following books follow them through the second world war and life afterwards. Harry becomes a world famous writer while Emma becomes the first woman to chair a public company in the UK.
Emma's brother Giles Barrington is Harry's best friend and a Member of Parliament. All of their lives intertwine over the course of the seven books. Because of their prominence in society, they have some enemies along the way who make things interesting.
The last two books seemed like carbon copies of each other. There were business mergers, elections won and lost, false accusations and family drama. None of it was overly exciting, but as I had invested so much time in the series I wanted to see it through to the end.
I was particularly disappointed how some of the loose threads from the earlier books were tied up in a couple of sentences at the end of book seven. Questions that haven't been answered for decades were barely given a mention. I feel like some of them could have been a bit more dramatic. One character just disappeared for the final third of the final book and didn't really get any closure.
On the whole, it was a fun series to read, but it should have been shorter. If you're a fan of Jeffrey Archer, have a look. I'd love to know what you think.