Sons of Fortune

by Jeffrey Archer

4.00 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)

4.00 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)


Bestselling author Jeffrey Archer returns with a powerful tale of twins separated by fate and reunited by destiny.
In the late 1940’s in Hartford, Connecticut a set of twins is parted at birth. Nat Cartwright goes home with his parents, a schoolteacher and an insurance salesman. But his twin brother is to begin his days as Fletcher Andrew Davenport, the only son of a multi-millionaire and his society wife.
During the years that follow, the two brothers grow up unaware of each other’s existence. Nat leaves college at the University of Connecticut to serve in Vietnam. He returns a war hero, finishes school and becomes a successful banker. Fletcher, meanwhile, has graduated from Yale University and distinguishes himself as a criminal defense lawyer before he is elected to the Senate.
Even when Nat and Fletcher fall in love with the same girl they still don’t meet. They continue on their separate paths until one has to defend the other for a murder he did not commit. But the final confrontation comes when Nat and Fletcher are selected to stand against each other for governor of the state.
In the tradition of Jeffrey Archer’s most popular books, Sons of Fortune is as much a chronicle of a nation in transition as it is the story of two remarkable men and how, eventually, they come to discover the truth – and its extraordinary consequences…

Genre, Thrill Mystery Adventure

About The Author

Archer wrote his first book, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, in the autumn of 1974, as a means of avoiding bankruptcy. The book was picked up by the literary agent Deborah Owen and published first in the US, then eventually in Britain in the autumn of 1976. A BBC Television adaptation of the book was broadcast in 1990, and a radio adaptation was aired on BBC Radio 4 in the early 1980s.

Kane and Abel (1979) proved to be his best-selling work, reaching number one on The New York Times bestsellers list. Like most of his early work it was edited by Richard Cohen, the Olympic fencing gold-medallist. It was made into a television mini-series by CBS in 1985, starring Peter Strauss and Sam Neill. The following year, Granada TV screened a ten-part adaptation of another Archer bestseller, First Among Equals, which told the story of four men and their quest to become Prime Minister. In the U.S. edition of the novel, the character of Andrew Fraser was eliminated, reducing the number of protagonists to three.

As well as novels and short stories, Archer has also written three stage plays. The first, Beyond Reasonable Doubt, opened in 1987 and ran at the Queen’s Theatre in London’s West End for over a year. However, Archer’s next play, Exclusive, was not well received by critics, and closed after a few weeks. His final play, The Accused, opened at the Theatre Royal, Windsor on 26 September 2000, before transferring to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in the West End in December.

Archer has stated that he spends considerable time writing and re-writing each book. He goes abroad to write the first draft, working in blocks of two hours at a time, then writes anything up to seventeen drafts in total. In 1988 author Kathleen Burnett accused Archer of plagiarising a story she’d written and including it in his short-story collection, A Twist in the Tale. Archer denied he had plagiarised the story, claiming he’d simply been inspired by the idea.

It has been suggested that Archer’s books undergo an extensive editing process prior to publication. Whilst Archer’s books are commercially successful, critics have been generally unfavourable towards his writing. However, journalist Hugo Barnacle, writing for The Independent about The Fourth Estate (1996), thought the novel, while demonstrating that “the editors don’t seem to have done any work”, was “not wholly unsatisfactory”.

Since 2010, Archer has written the first draft of each new book at his luxury villa in Majorca, called “Writer’s Block”.

In 2011, Archer published the first of seven books in The Clifton Chronicles, which follow the life of Harry Clifton from his birth in 1920, through to the finale in 2020. The first novel in the series, Only Time Will Tell, tells the story of Harry from 1920 through to 1940, and was published in the UK on 12 May 2011. The sixth instalment, Cometh the Hour, was published on 25 February 2016. The final novel in the series, This Was a Man, was published on 3 November 2016.

Archer’s next novel has been provisionally titled Heads You Win, and will be published in 2017, along with another volume of short stories.

Average Reader Rating

4.00 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings

Reader Reviews

5 reviews for Sons of Fortune

  1. 4 out of 5

    “Amazing Reading”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Archer must have been off his meds, or on them beyond the recommended dose for a year.(He is usually great.) The story is packed full of English aristocratic snobbery, but transferred to America. Clumsily transferred. Standard, rich twins separated at birth. One raised poorer. They both whoop ass in slightly different ways, but of course they are both swinging for the fence. I wonder if he was on a Connecticut country club tour with elderly Yale and boarding school alumni the entire time he was “researching” and felt the need to kiss their asses in thanks. It is hard to imagine someone missing the mark on an American book more completely. Beyond that the story is ridiculous, implausible, and boring. This book is a stinker.

  3. 4 out of 5

    “My mother taught me two languages until the age of nine and by then I was just about ready to be mainstreamed into the Storrs’ school system. And I was most fortunate to have a maths teacher whose hobby was statistics, and who was also fascinated by the role the computer might play in the future. How big is your firm’s computer Mr. Cartwright?” : Su Ling. ” About the size of this room” ” The next generation of students will work with computers no larger than the lids of their desks, and the generation after that will be able to hold them in the palm of their hand” Technology is moving at such a pace, and the demand will be so high, that the price must fall quickly. Once that happens, computers will become like the phone and television were in the forties and fifties, as more people purchase them, the cheaper and smaller they will be. The computer that sent the first man to the moon was larger than this house, but we will live to see a space capsule land on Mars by a computer no larger than this kitchen table. Nat’s first currency fund was a thousand dollar loan from the bank. Within a month the fund had grown to 10000 and by the end of the term to 14000 with a clear profit of 726$. Nat told Su Ling that he was more worried about losing the investors money than his own. ” It’s obscene,” said Su Ling. ” But what’s wrong with using my skill, knowledge and an ounce of enterprise ” Nat enquired. ” it only takes about fifteen minutes a day. I check the Japanese market at six each morning and the closing prices in New York at six every night, and as long as their isn’t a run against me for several days in a row, I have nothing to do except reinvest the capital each month ” ” Because you earn more working fifteen minutes a day than I hope to pick up in a year as a senior researcher in Columbia University- in fact, it is more than my supervisor earns” : Su Ling. ” Your supervisor will still be in place this time next year, what ever happens to the market. That’s free enterprise. The downside is that I can lose everything” : Nat ” I blame myself, because of this takeover battle with Fairchild’s, I haven’t been to see Luke once this term” ” Me neither,” admitted Su Ling. ” But we are going to the school play next week” ” I know,” said Nat. ” As he’s playing Romeo, do you think the problem might be Juliet?”” Possibly. After all, you met your first love at the school play, didn’t you?” Asked Su Ling. “Yes, and that ended in tears” Nat.

  4. 4 out of 5

    What a cracking read. Sons Of Fortune is the first Jeffrey Archer novel I have read. I was not disappointed and found it to be an excellent thriller.It is the story of twin boys separated at birth, one staying with his working class family the other going to a more well to do family, and whose lives parallel each other’s, coming tantalisingly close to touching on many occasions and coming together in a most shocking but natural way.To me it was fast paced, despite spanning four and a half decades, and never lost its way.Archer has an interesting writing style. So often he teases the reader with the potential of a reveal, only to make the actual reveal some time later, almost as part of normal conversation like we should have known all along. In that way the characters have already processed the shock but the reader still needs to catch up with some Oh My Gosh moments. And that’s even when some are fairly obvious.I found this quite enjoyable and am keen to read more to see if Archer does it elsewhere. Some of the reveals in Sons Of Fortune gave me spine chills and goose bumps, even now thinking about them while writing this review. Some were even quite sad and moving, but all were done in a touching, non-superficial way. This is a sign of great writing.
    I would recommend this story to any lover of a good yarn.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Sons of Fortune is a long novel (500+ pages) about the lives of two men, Nat Cartwight and Fletcher Davenport. These two men are identical twins who were separated at birth, with Fletcher being switched to replace the deceased baby of the other woman. Both men live similar lives, as they both go to rival private schools, and both run in school elections. Since both run for school president, they both get the aid of their best friends, who also help them as they both run against each other for the position of governor. During university, Nat is called for duty in Vietnam. Fletcher is lucky enough to not be called for duty however. Before they run for governor, Nat becomes a banker, while Fletcher becomes a lawyer. They also both get married, and have families.This book is fairly interesting, as it truly goes into detail about how they live. In a way, it is able to represent how different growing up is in the 60s and 70s, and also when attending private schools. The story itself is relatively interesting, as it covers a broad variety of ‘things’ both men do throughout their school and adult lives. In a way, the book shows the reader somewhat what life would be if you had the professions of these men. Also, since the reader does know about the fact that both live so close together without realizing the truth about their separation, one always wonders when the truth will come out (if it does), and what happens when it does.Since the book does go into detail, some parts tend to drag on for a bit, especially if they do not particularly interest you. Because the story is based somewhat on politics, some parts get confusing if the reader does not know about how politics work, and possibly boring if politics are not what you are interested in. Also, since the story is being told for both men, it can get confusing when it switches between the two (as it does quite often). Overall, the book is fairly interesting, and is definitely worth reading. The depth the book goes into really gives you a feeling of who these men are, in a way that you can relate to them. However, if you do not have the time for a long book, or do not like politics and more serious affairs, this is not a book for you.

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