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Restless (2006)

by William Boyd

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,4471084,210 (3.76)237
What happens to your life when everything you thought you knew about your mother turns out to be an elaborate lie? Ruth Gilmartin discovers the strange and haunting truth about her mother, Sally, during the long hot summer of 1976.

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» See also 237 mentions

English (101)  French (3)  Danish (2)  German (2)  All languages (108)
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
3.5 stars
I don’t usually read spy novels so perhaps I’m biased, but I thought this storyline was original and refreshing. The two strong women as protagonists and the alternating narratives between those two - Ruth (daughter, set in 1976) and Sally (mother, set in 1940) - worked really well for me. Though Sally’s (or Eva’s) story contained some cliches, I thought it to be believable for the most part. Boyd’s writing didn’t particularly impress me, but it was an enjoyable read. ( )
  frtyfour | Jun 16, 2020 |
Quite an intriguing page turner. Boyd Writes brilliantly. ( )
  gtf21 | May 22, 2020 |
Loved the old fashioned writing and all of the brilliant characters ( )
  karenshann | Dec 31, 2019 |
(8.5) When Ruth Gilmartin's mother gives her a manuscript to read. she realises she has never known her mother at all. Her mother Sally had been enlisted as a spy just prior to the outbreak of the second world war. Initially, Ruth is doubtful but soon comes to accept that her mother is indeed Eva Delectoraskaya.
The chapters alternate between present day and the manuscript outlining Eva's life. I found this a gripping, taut, literary read. I have not read a spy thriller before but this had me eagerly returning. Some of the computations and analysis I found a bit confusing but it was certainly an eye opener into the world of espionage. ( )
1 vote HelenBaker | Sep 26, 2019 |
This is my first book by Boyd and what a great read it was. Loved this spy story and the way Boyd flits between the past and present about a war time spy and a English teacher in the modern day.

For a complete review please click on the link below:
http://onerightword.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/restless-william-boyd.html ( )
  ashkrishwrites | Aug 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Boydprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pike, RosamundNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We may, indeed, say that the hour of death is uncertain, but when we say this we think of that hour as situated in a vague and remote expanse of time; it does not occur to us that it can have any connection with the day that has already dawned and can mean that death may occur this very afternoon, so far from uncertain, this afternoon whose timetable, hour by hour, has been settled in advance. One insists on one's daily outing, so that in a month's time one will have had the the necessary ration of fresh air; one has hesitated over which coat to take, which cabman to call; one is in the cab, the whole day lies before one, short because one must be back home early, as a friend is coming to see one; one hopes it will be fine again tomorrow; and one has no suspicion that death, which has been advancing within one on another plane, has chosen precisely this particular day to make its appearance in a few minutes' time . . .
~ Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way
for Susan
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When I was a child and was being fractious and contrary and generally behaving badly, my mother used to rebuke me by saying:' One day someone will come and kill me and then you'll be sorry'; or, 'They'll appear out of the blue and whisk me away - how would you like that?'; or, 'You'll wake up one morning and I'll be gone. Disappeared. You wait and see.'
He waved to her, and she went to her office, thinking that there seemed to be every kind of community in the United States--Irish, Hispanic, German, Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, and so on--but no British community. Where were the British-Americans? Who was going to put their case to counter the arguments of the Irish-Americans, the German-Americans, the Swedish -Americans and all the others? (p.149)
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Someone is trying to kill Sally Gilmartin. It is the summer of 1976, and the only person she can trust is her daughter, Ruth, a young single mother struggling with her own demons. Now Sally must tell her daughter the truth: She is actually Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigré recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939. Soon Ruth is drawn deeper into the astonishing events of her mother’s past, including her work in New York City manipulating the press in order to shift public sentiment toward U.S. involvement in Second World War and her dangerous love affair with another spy. Ruth also discovers that her mother has one final assignment. This time, though, Eva can’t do it alone—she needs Ruth’s help.
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