Restless

Restless

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
9
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Random House Canada proudly welcomes William Boyd to our fiction list with a riveting espionage novel that has a supremely human twist - as domestic secrets turn out to be as potent as secrets of state. It is Paris 1939. Twenty-eight-year-old Eva Delctorskaya is at the funeral of her murdered younger brother when she notices a stranger standing among her family and friends. A patrician-looking Englishman with a secretive air and a persuasive manner, his name is Lucas Romer, and it turns out he has a mysterious connection to her brother. Romer recruits Eva and soon she is travelling to Scotland to be trained as a spy and work for his underground network. After a successful covert operation in Belgium, she is sent to New York City, where she is involved in manipulating the press in order to shift American public sentiment toward getting involved in WWII. Three decades on, Eva has buried her dangerous history. She is now Sally Gilmartin, a respectable English widow, living in a picturesque Cotswold village. No one, not even her daughter, Ruth, knows her real identity. But once a spy, always a spy. Sally has far too many secrets and she has no one to trust. Before it is too late, she must confront the demons in her past. This time, though, she can't do it alone - she needs Ruth's help. Restless is a haunting portrait of a spy, and a masterful examination of the tensions between mothers and daughters. Full of drama, emotion and history, the novel represents storytelling at its finest. 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." It's curious, but you don't think seriously about these remarks when you're young. But now - as I look back on the events of that interminable hot summer of 1976, that summer when England reeled, gasping for breath, poleaxed by the unending heat - now I know what my mother was talking about: I understand that bitter dark current of fear that flowed beneath the placid surface of her ordinary life - how it had never left her even after years of peaceful, unexceptionable living. I now realize she was always frightened that someone was going to come and kill her. And she had good reason. -From Restless
Publisher: [Toronto] : Random House Canada, c2006.
ISBN: 9780679314783
0679314784
Characteristics: 325 p. ;,24 cm.

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v
vancouverville
Oct 30, 2016

I'm at page 82 and have been introduced to a bunch of characters, but nothing has really happened. Both mother and daughter seem to be sleepwalking. Why would a mother who thinks she's going to be killed, tell her story one chapter at time to her daughter, as if there were all the time in the world to tell it?
Note: things did pick up at page 86 - though both mother and daughter characters remained stiff and unsympathetic (in my humble opinion). Some strange minor characters in the life of the daughter that don't seem to amount to much. Changed my rating to 3 stars.

e
EmilyEm
Oct 07, 2015

Takes place in Oxfordshire, England in 1976, when Sally Gilmartin suspects someone is trying to kill her and finally tells her twenty-something daughter that she had another life: She is Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigré recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939.

As the story unfolds we follow Eva's—now Eve Dalton’s, then Sally Gilmartin’s story—and her daughter’s back and forth from those spy years to the story’s 1970s setting. Interesting characters, there’s romance, intrigue, manipulation—all the ingredients of a wonderful story. One of his best.

This book captured me from page one; even the passage from Proust’s 'The Guermantes Way' was incentive! It’s a great mother-daughter story, a wonderful spy story, and a story from the past but with themes we wrestle with every day. And, yes, 'Restless' is a good name for it. I, for one, could not put it down—'restless’ until finished!

p
philisgreat
Jan 13, 2014

A smart, gripping adventure combining two time periods and the mystery of recollection and memory. A must-read for any William Boyd fan.

poppy2010 May 09, 2013

Very enjoyable/plausible story.
There must be many families around the world with 'ghosts in the closet' like this.
I couldn't put it down!

s
santiano9
Apr 12, 2013

A great read from this superb storyteller. I thought I would have been disappointed after having enjoyed Any Human Heart so much, but I wasn't.

d
dcafk
May 08, 2012

Good read. Great plot.

u
uncommonreader
May 01, 2012

This is a good book told from a daughter's perspective. Her mother and her search for her mentor and lover reveals interesting secrets aboutg the past.

g
gwinegarden
Oct 23, 2010

Bored to distraction by the end of the first chapter.

g
gailygirl
Jan 02, 2008

A terrific one-day read. Employs what I call the "two-story" narrative with one chapter about the present, one about the past, which we are very anxious to have revealed to us. Moves along very quickly and I never lost interest. Nor does the plot let us down.

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