Book of the Week: 19 March – 25 March 2012

 Sins of the father

by Jeffery Archer

In the second installment (after Only Time Will Tell) of Archer’s five-volume saga, Harry Clifton, a Bristol dockworker’s son, and Giles Barrington, the assumed heir to the Barrington estate, seek to enlist in World War II despite various obstacles.

Harry joins the Merchant Navy and, after a German U-boat sinks his ship, is among a group rescued by an American cruise liner. He attempts to escape his past by assuming another sailor’s identity but, as a result, lands in an American jail serving a six-year sentence. Meanwhile, the color-blind Barrington finagles his way into the British army, and Emma Barrington, Harry’s intended, gives birth to a boy whose parentage, like Harry’s, is a mystery.

As usual, Archer permits his characters to drive the plot, enriching its multiple layers with their own perspectives. He also
introduces semiautobiographical elements: Harry authors a series of diaries while
serving as prison librarian, and in the concluding chapters, a debate regarding the Barrington Shipping fortune’s legitimate heir demonstrates Archer’s intimate knowledge of parliamentary procedures.

Although the plot twists and cliff-hangers seem sensational in spots, Archer’s panache and sharp repartee maintain the excitement and sheer fun of reading this literary master.



About HB Williams Memorial Library Staff

The HB Williams Memorial Library includes five community libraries and supports the multi-cultural community of Gisborne and the East Coast of New Zealand.
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