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Restless [Abridged] [Audio CD]

William Boyd , Rosemund Pike
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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From Publishers Weekly

When Ruth Gilmartin learns the true identity—and the WWII profession—of her aging mother, Sally Gilmartin, at the start of Boyd's elegant ninth novel (after Any Human Heart), Ruth is understandably surprised. Sally, née Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigré living in Paris in 1939, was recruited as a spy by Lucas Romer, the head of a secretive propaganda group called British Security Coordination, to help get America into the war. This fascinating story is well told, but slightly undercut by Ruth's less-than-dramatic life as a single mother teaching English at Oxford while pursuing a graduate degree in history. Ruth's more pedestrian existence can't really compete with her mother's dramatic revelations. The contemporary narrative achieves a good deal more urgency when Ruth's mother recruits her to hunt down the reclusive, elusive Romer. But the real story is Eva/Sally's, a vividly drawn portrait of a minor figure in spydom caught up in the epic events leading up to WWII. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Booklist

If an espionage thriller with terror tentacles reaching from pre-World War II to the present can be called a cozy, this is it. Boyd's latest novel moves back and forth from the heart of the British countryside and misty, romantic Edinburgh to prewar Paris and into various capitals during the conflict itself--all with a satisfying, Agatha Christie atmosphere. This is also a mother-daughter story set in 1976, with the daughter of an eccentric mother trying to figure out who wants to kill her mother, Sally Gilmartin. Boyd introduces a rather clunky literary device of having the mother give her daughter a manuscript that details her life as a WWII spy for the British Secret Service. Boyd's focus on Gilmartin's spy training and her behind-the-scenes propaganda work in New York to steer public opinion toward U.S. involvement in the war is fascinating. A somewhat clumsy narrative enlivened by some expertly generated suspense. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Praise for William Boyd:

"There's hardly a writer around whose work offers more pleasure and satisfaction." --Washington Post

"A champion storyteller. His prose style is intelligent, vigorous and pleasant."      --New York Times Book Review

About the Author

William Boyd is the author of eight novels, including A Good Man in Africa and Any Human Heart, three collections of short stories, and twelve screenplays that have been filmed. He has been the recipient of several awards, including the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. He lives with his wife in London and southwest France.

From AudioFile

Drab English teacher Ruth Gilmartin is astonished when her mother, Sally, reveals that she is really Eva, a Russian ŽmigrŽ recruited by the Brits to manipulate the press to force the U.S. into WWII. Her British spymaster, and lover, Lucas Romer, betrays Eva, and she must assume other identities to escape Romer's death sentence. Incomparable British actress Rosamund Pike plays the two women with compassion and verve as the story follows the parallel lives of mother and daughter. She shows her greatest skill in the climax when she superbly portrays not only Sally and Ruth, but the despicable Romer as well, in a stunning confrontation. M.T.B. 2007 Audies Award Finalist © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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