I hope that you have all enjoyed your Christmas season thus far. I know that I have. I was gifted with far too much, but I’ll save that for another post. For now, let me just say that my bookshelf overfloweth ;P
Since my last ‘This Week in Review’ in October (before the hecticness of NaNoWriMo & Advent Shorts) I’ve managed to read three books–which is a terrible count for me, but I wrote 50k + so the guilt is pointless. Anyway, I’ll be posting a review of each over the next four days–four because tomorrow’s post will be dedicated to gushing over my new books.
The first of these books is the third in the Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer: Best Kept Secret. As some of you might know, fantasy is my go-to genre, but I’m always willing to jump around and test the waters of other styles and settings. Earlier this year, I picked up the first book, Only Time Will Tell, and devoured it in two sittings. The prose was so clean, the characters well developed and–for the most part–sympathetic. A few weeks later, I picked up the second book, Sins of the Father, and finished it in three sittings.
The series is based around a family living in England in the early 1900s and unfolds as a dramatic epic that spans generations of the Clifton and Barrington families. I’ll avoid details that will spoil the first two entries in the series for those of you who might be interested in picking it up.
While not as fast-paced as its predecessors, Best Kept Secret, still boasts a terrific ensemble of colorful characters who are nothing if not resilient. The narrative picks up right on the heels of the one before, which ended on a heck of a cliffhanger. Archer has a tendency for ending this way, creating a sense of a large arc that is never completed in one story but will have to be met in the conclusion of the saga. An interesting framing, it can also be slightly annoying to finish a book feeling as though you have not finished the story that was started.
Still, I am looking forward to reading the fourth book and would recommend this series to anyone interested in period pieces and family dramas. The heart of this series lies in its characters and they have been constant in their growth, striving to make moral decisions in a world shaded in grey. In my opinion, characters are key to a story’s success, and it’s why I find myself thinking about each book long after I’ve put them down.
May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,