Restless

Restless

Paperback

By (author) William Boyd

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Paperback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 24mm | 240g
  • Publication date: 2 January 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0747586209
  • ISBN 13: 9780747586203
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 20,469

Product description

It is 1939. Eva Delectorskaya is a beautiful 28-year-old Russian emigree living in Paris. As war breaks out she is recruited for the British Secret Service by Lucas Romer, a mysterious Englishman, and under his tutelage she learns to become the perfect spy, to mask her emotions and trust no one, including those she loves most. Since the war, Eva has carefully rebuilt her life as a typically English wife and mother. But once a spy, always a spy. Now she must complete one final assignment, and this time Eva can't do it alone: she needs her daughter's help.

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Author information

William Boyd was born in 1952 in Accra, Ghana and was brought up there and in Nigeria. He is the author of A Good Man in Africa, which won the Whitbread Literary Award for the Best First Novel in 1981 and a Somerset Maugham Award in 1982; On the Yankee Station (1982), a collection of short stories; An Ice-Cream War, which won the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize for 1982 and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Stars and Bars (1984); The New Confessions (1987); Brazzaville Beach, which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for 1990 and for which William Boyd was awarded the McVitie's Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year; The Blue Afternoon, which won the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award; The Destiny of Nathalie X, a further collection of short stories, and Any Human Heart. William Boyd is married and lives in London.

Review quote

'Boyd is English fiction's master storyteller ... Restless is that rare thing: a spy thriller from a first-rate narrative intelligence' Independent on Sunday 'Fast moving, densely plotted, beautifully observed and probably one of the best things Boyd has done' Esquire 'A good, rollicking read ... pulls you deep in to the obscure, forgotten intricacies of wartime espionage ... will keep you turning pages until the end' Observer 'Heart-stoppingly exciting ... a riveting tale of wartime derring-do' Time Out

Editorial reviews

Atmospheric novel about an older woman whose past career as a WWII spy has come back to haunt her.Ruth Gilmartin is a single mother of one in 1976 England. On a visit to Grandma's, Ruth's mother, Sally, informs her that her real name is Eva Delectorskaya, and that she was an agent of British Intelligence during World War II. Eva hands Sally a manuscript of her story, abruptly launching the duo and the reader into the past. Boyd (Any Human Heart, 2003, etc.) seems more eager to tell Eva's story than Ruth's. Not surprisingly, as the elder Gilmartin finds herself swept into a world on the brink of war in 1939. Recruited by the swarthy and mysterious Lucas Romer, Eva is trained in spycraft and joins Romer's team, specializing in disinformation. Propaganda is Eva's stock in trade, and she has a knack for it. Still, for all her talent, she finds herself attracted to her secretive boss. Boyd has obviously read a few espionage novels. Can any young woman resist James Bond? Ruth leads a far less glamorous life. Saddled with Jochen, her inquisitive son, she teaches English as a Second Language. Her adventures occur vicariously, through the lives of the foreign students who study with her. With a nod to irony, Ruth teaches people to blend into their surroundings. At first, her mother's revelation seems to be a sign of senility. As Ruth begins to investigate, the shadows of her mother's former life reveal themselves. There is some truth to this work of fiction, and the real-life events make for a fascinating backdrop. Boyd skillfully manipulates language as easily as Eva does. He handles the plot more roughly. Ruth is clumsy albeit untrained, and the other characters in her world are rather thinly sketched. Yet Boyd fits the puzzle together neatly in the end.A bit light on action and intrigue, but a cool, collected effort. (Kirkus Reviews)