A Novel

Book - 2006 | 1st U.S. ed
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"It is the summer of 1976 in Oxfordshire, England, and someone is trying to kill Sally Gilmartin. 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 emigre recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939, after the murder of her brother, also a spy. As Ruth tries to make sense of the twists and turns that have brought her back to Oxford, twenty-eight years old and caring for a young son by herself, she is drawn deeper and deeper into the astonishing events of her mother's past. Sally Gilmartin had buried many secrets along with the name Eva Delectorskaya, including her work in New York City manipulating the press in order to shift public sentiment toward U.S. involvement in the Second World War and her dangerous love affair with another spy. Eva was trained to be the perfect spy : to be keen, quick, alert, and most important, to trust no one. At last, Ruth discovers that her mother has one final assignment. This time, though, Eva can't do it alone - she needs Ruth's help"--Book jacket.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck, 2006
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781596912373 (PB)
1596912375 (PB)
9781596912366 (HB)
1596912367 (HB)
Branch Call Number: FIC BOYD
Characteristics: vii, 324 p. ; 25 cm


From the critics

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Jan 20, 2021

Ridley Pearson, author, recommendation

Jun 27, 2020

A multilingual woman is recruited by the British to join an operation spreading disinformation in America attempting to force the USA into World War Two. She narrowly escapes with her life in New Mexico and must disappear or be killed by her employer. Well crafted thriller set in two time frames of then and now.

Jul 07, 2019

get more of his books

May 26, 2018

Another really good read by William Boyd. A spy story which has you guessing to the end!!
Thoroughly recommended!

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.

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!

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!

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.

May 08, 2012

Good read. Great plot.

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