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!Ebook ♫ Restless ♫ I Am Eva Delectorskaya, Sally Gilmartin Announces, And So On A Warm Summer Afternoon In Her Daughter, Ruth, Learns That Everything She Ever Knew About Her Mother Was A Carefully Constructed Lie Sally Gilmartin Is A Respectable English Widow Living In Picturesque Cotswold Village Eva Delectorskaya Was A Rigorously Trained World War II Spy, A Woman Who Carried Fake Passports And Retreated To Secret Safe Houses, A Woman Taught To Lie And Deceive, And Above All, To Never Trust AnyoneThree Decades Later The Secrets Of Sally S Past Still Haunt Her Someone Is Trying To Kill Her And At Last She Has Decided To Trust Ruth With Her Story Ruth, Meanwhile, Is Struggling To Make Sense Of Her Own Life As A Young Single Mother With An Unfinished Graduate Degree And Escalating Dependence On Alcohol She Is Drawn Deeper And Deeper Into The Astonishing Events Of Her Mother S Past The Mysterious Death Of Eva S Beloved Brother, Her Work In New York City Manipulating The Press In Order To Shift Public Sentiment Toward American Involvement In The War, And Her Dangerous Romantic Entanglement Now Sally Wants To Find The Man Who Recruited Her For The Secret Service, And She Needs Ruth S Help Restless Is A Brilliant Espionage Book And A Vivid Portrait Of The Life Of A Female Spy Full Of Tension And Drama, And Based On A Remarkable Chapter Of Anglo American History, This Is Fiction At Its Finest I read this because I enjoyed Any Human Heart so much I don t normally read tales of wartime espionage Nevertheless, I enjoyed it.The story alternates between the wartime life of Eva, recruited as a spy, and 30 years later, when she tells her adult daughter about it There are also subplots relating to the daughter s life, though I think the book would have been better without them Eva s story is exciting enough without trying to draw weak parallels a generation later I found it a compelling read.I opens with a vivid description of bucolic 1970s England, which contrasts with later wartime scenes A major tactic was planting misinformation in minor publications and hoping the bigger ones would pick it up, gaining authenticity with each republication rather as happens with urban legends on the internet today.The fear, complexity and psychological aspects of living a duplicitous life are captured authentically, or so it seemed to me you look at the world differently, never relax and never trust anyone However, the voice of the 5 year old grandson was not at all authentic with a few exceptions near the end.Overall, a fascinating and enjoyable read, albeit imperfect.Miscellaneous quotes A dilapidated house giving up its parched ghost to entropy Massive black green yews that seemed to drink the light of day Scotland There lingered in the landscape a memory of many winters hardship I felt like a house shaken by some nearby explosion tiles had fallen, there was a thick cloud of dust, windows had blown in Intelligence wasn t neutral if it was believed or even half believed, then everything began subtly to change as a result the ripple effect could have consequences no one could foresee Sometimes it amazed Eva how fluently and spontaneously she could lie Think everyone is lying to you all the time, Romer said, it s probably the safest way to proceeed The guileless child was already beginning to develop the opacities of the growing boy where veils of ignorance and unknown exist even between the people you were closest to. i just about stayed with this to the end but for a good writer like william boyd , i found it underwhelming.the characters are very thin and a lot of them pointless , the plot creaks like a House of Horror film door , and most of the writing is cliched most of what Boyd seems to know about spying seems to have come from the Mail on Sunday here are some gems that i noticed here is Romer , supposedly a big cheese spy ,explaining the rules of spying don t trust anyone he said.god i m glad i was not a spy i just could not keep up with the pace of it at that level here is Eva the herione being advised by a woman a little world weary , she said there is nothing easier in this world , than getting a man to kiss you how do you do that just stand close to a man..blah blah blah it was always going to be a dirty war yes that really is there in black and white on page 173 and it was not said in a WW11 spoof but in this book by one of our most celebrated contemporary novelists that s what the sunday times thinks anyway.there s does the name mr x help you identify anyone that s on page 192 just in case you think i m making it up funnily the answer was negative the heroine is always looking shrewdly at people that s because she was a spy you see.A lot of the setting is Oxford and Oxfordshire based a spy thriller with a whiff of the upperclass and priviledged now where have i heard that before ah yes Burgess , Blunt etc this is just lazy on Boyd s part.pointless characters in no particular order some german bloke who was in porno films and walks around naked and had something to do with 70 s radicalism , the son Jochen who talks like a forty year old , Hamid an iranian engineer who proposes marriage to the daughter , the daughter who we are led to believe is brilliant but seems to twig on pretty slowly , the german father of jochen and his languid wife i must have forgotten the other ones perhaps because they were yup pointless cliches abound particularly in the description of a london gentleman s club whose members and staff look down on our plucky daughter because she is , gasp , a woman she inevitably is upset by this i forgot to mention that she is a single mother which seems to be a sort of short hand for being interesting , different and so clever she is not working class i hasten to add , perish the thought the other great cliche is the University academic who features strongly make that up yourself , you know part Evelyn Waugh , part Patrick Moore the plot device where the mother explains her past to the daughter in written in installments and is a totally unbelievable in method apart from being boring i think the reason that this book irritated me so much was that apart from being poor , there are dozens of better thriller and spy writers around whose books get ignored because their name is not William Boyd and they are not thought of as literary it s all so unfair Robert Wilson s a small death in lisbon knocks the spots off oops i ve caught the cliche bug this novel , not too mention Le Carre so i won t. I ve just posted all the William Boyd books on my bookshelf I started reading him about five years ago Armadillo, set in London and over time I occasionally bought and read others Lately after I read Brazzaville Beach I realised with surprise that I had now read all nine of his novels and that s all until he writes another He creates wonderful characters in rich geographical settings and plots, often told within a twentieth century historical context Africa commonly, and also America, other continents and the two world wars.The latest, Restless 2006 , typically occurs in than one dimension two time zones and two key characters and with an espionage plot that characteristically carries you emotionally without drilling crudely into your head He writes women well in the first person other examples are Brazzaville Beach set in Africa and The Blue Afternoon three continents Two of Boyd s books The New Confessions and Any Human Heart are long fictional biographies, both of male characters Other books with male leads are Stars and Bars and two African books A Good Man in Africa and An Ice Cream War If you haven t read Boyd you could start with any book For a hint and the most typical, try A Good Man in Africa or The Blue Afternoon You may find, like me, that whenever you want a reliably enjoyable read you know you can look for another Boyd until you run out of them William Boyd born 1952 is a Scottish novelist and screenwriter In 1983, he was one of the 20 Best of Young British Novelist in a promotion run by Granta magazine and the Book Marketing Council Restless published 2006 tells the story of a young woman who finds out that her mother used to work as a spy for British government prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor However, unlike Susan Isaac s Linda Voss Melanie Griffith in the 1992 movie, Shining Through, this is about a Russian born spy hired by British government to work in the US Her job was to manipulate the American government to support, i.e., draw Americans into the conflict, Europe s war against Hitler Of course, her job became useless after Pearl Harbor because the US had to take revenge against Japan and Hitler in Europe This book won the Novel Award in the 2006 Costa Book Awards.The story is told in the alternating points of view of the daughter Ruth and the mother Eva Delectorskaya Because of this, the book continually switches between the time periods and, in doing so, from first to third person The life of her mother serving as a British spy is very interesting as the danger lurks in every scene with the first rule in espionage at the back of the reader s head never trust anyone However, the most interesting part is the similarities between the mother and her daughter despite their generation gap and the situation their lives are in This includes their preference on a certain types strong like concrete of men and their passion for truth and justice I mentioned this because the book includes explicit sex scenes amidst the historical background of Europe at the brink of Hitler s rampage Boyd should be credited in his flawless, engaging and arresting prose He was able to express the viewpoints of the two narrators effectively including their sexual fantasies that made we doubt whether Boyd was just a pseudonym of a woman writer Wiki says no and he even has a smiling picture in there.The title refers to the years after the war ended and her mother still feels that somebody is still haunting her and is bound to kill her She constantly rebukes Ruth by sayingOne day someone will come and kill me and then you ll be sorryorThey ll appear out of the blue and whisk me away how would you like thatThis was the only part of the book that made me smile because I oftentimes used this technique to pacify the tantrums of my daughter particularly when she was a lot younger I used to tell her that if she would not stop, what if I died while driving to the office And then she would be sorry for the rest of her life having angered me few hours before I died It worked It worked What I am saying is that this book is not funny at all But if you love spy thrillers with a bit of historical background for indeed there were British spies in American soil to lobby of their compatriots support , peppered with hot sex scenes, then this book is for you. Tag me as a Boyd fan There aren t many male writers who can genuinely pull off the voice of a woman, but in his case, he did that twice Here we have a young ish single mother who works as a language tutor to professionals who ve arrived extremely capable in their professional pursuits but who can barely speak a word of the Queen s tongue She s also procrastinating on a thesis at Oxford, but between hosting uninvited international house guests, suddenly being courted by one of her students, and worrying that her mother might be suffering from early dementia, her plate is than full.Her aging mother has been acting a bit paranoid as of late, but when our language tutor arrives at her mom s house to drop off her little boy for their weekly overnight visit, things are really weird Her mother is in a wheelchair, is in process of getting a gun licence, and most oddly of all, declares that her identity is false and has been for 40 some years.Thus fires off two sets of intrigue we read about the supposed past of a 65 year old who claims to have been a spy during World War II and who s been in hiding ever since There is intrigue in her recruiting, the spycraft technique, and the most enlightening her efforts in writing fake news to be used to manipulate governments.I love spy novels, complex female characters, and quirky lives, but to read that reporters fabricated articles to prompt outrage or worry certainly hit home Boyd manaaged to not only grab my attention but made things entirely believable and relatable The only reason this didn t garner a five star rating from me is that it rather fell off a cliff for me at the ending it just stopped There were other little threads I d have liked to see tied up, and that rather makes me think there ll be a sequel or prequel Or not Boyd has me guessing, and I like it. 3.5 stars really.Fairly competent world war two spy thriller which goes along at a good pace without taxing the brain too much not a bad thing as I m also immersed in Proust and Gass at the moment Set in 1976 with flashbacks to 1940 1941 The central characters are Sally and her daughter Ruth Sally decides to let Ruth knowabout her hidden past as a spy and does so in a series of written chapters which gradually reveal her story SWhe does so because she thinks someone is trying to kill her and feels she needs to tidy up a loose end or two I liked the fact that there are two strong female protagonists and the tension is maintained at a pretty good level the spy part of the story is also believeable However there are plenty of cliches and too much stating the obvious I also had some difficulty with Ruth s situation She is a single mother, her son s father being a German academic All of a sudden she discovers her mother s history Her ex lover s brother and girlfriend also turn up They appear to be loosely attached to Baader Meinhof Ruth also teaches English to foreign students and one of her regulars is an Iranian who opposes the Shah and may be of interest to SAVAK Just too many layers of coincidence First Boyd I ve read in a long time it was ok but just a bit insipid compared to Wish Her Safe at Home which was so haunting Nevertheless it was enjoyable. As usual my rating only expresses my personal reaction to a book and thus my personal preferences Two stars reflects that spy novels are not my cup of tea, even if the artist is a magician with words I do appreciate Boyd s writing It just works for me A character enters a room and observes that the spider plant in the corner was dying of thirst Another character remarks at the placard on the door Ladies Drawing Room and says, How do you know I am a lady The writing is subtly humorous The dialogs match the character portrayals of each separate individual A child speaks as a child would, an English Lord too The author accurately mirrors how people behave in a given scene Nevertheless, I had serious problems with decisions made by some of the characters, because I didn t find them credible While the details are spot on, the trajectory of the plot goes astray In my view the love affair between Eva view spoiler and Romer doesn t fit with his subsequent plans to kill her Would a person Ruth in this case let the brother of her rejected lover live with her along with the brother s flaky drug user aggressive beggar Her observant, six year old son is impressionable And would a mother, this particular mother, encourage her child to throw an egg at the visiting Iranian Princess I have my doubts hide spoiler William Boyd goes all John John le Carr and has written a pretty good spy thriller that felt like reading a movie, with it s fast paced tense narrative, and moments that were utterly gripping.Central to the story is Eva Delectorskaya, the daughter of a Russian family in 1930s Paris After mourning her brother s death she is approached, wooed to attraction, by the dapper Lucas Romer, who wants her to leave her shipping company to work for his mysterious British organisation against the Nazi threat He convinces her with the revelation that her brother worked for him, and died in the line of duty.Trained in espionage techniques to become a top spy, in one of the most successful sections she is put work in Romer s London agency, using a sophisticated network to feed false stories into the news networks in the hope of damaging enemy confidence she no doubt is playing a dangerous game, risking her life for Queen and country Eventually Eva is moved to New York, where Romer s team uses similar propagandist means to convince America to join Britain in the war, and it s here where things turn sour when sent to New Mexico.Cleverly done, Boyd is telling this story through the daughter of Eva, Ruth, who has her own story also, in 1970 s Oxfordshire involving student politics and the Baader Meinhof gang When her indomitable widowed mother starts worrying her life is in danger she enlists the radical single mum Ruth to help in a potentially dangerous mission, but digging around in the past is never a good idea Although a solid enough read, Boyd seems a decent storyteller, but it s certainly nothing new, and this territory has been covered to far greater effect by other writers The easy to read page turning nature may have been welcoming to some, but I was hoping for something deeper and darker, which it didn t really deliver on, a good satisfying ending was my high point And the fact it won a Costa novel award shows it s limitations. Picked this up in a bookshop as a Christmas present for someone but then read it myself as this is how I got hooked on the earlier works of Michael Morpurgo whilst buying them as presents for my nephews and nieces whilst young it looks like a bit of a christmas hazard The shape of the chapters, alternating between the reminiscences and betrayal of the 1940 s with the present time account of the sweltering summer of 1976 was simple but effective As a young lad in 1976 I remembered that summer of hosepipe bans and stand pipes quite well and so got hooked into the imagining of all Eva s story unfolding whilst i enjoyed that remarkable few months This seems to me to be a clever hook because i am sure many people of my generation would clearly recall that time and therefore would, like me, associate the time in their minds quite clearly The machinations of a spy s brain as she twisted and turned to escape and then cover her tracks was quite fascinating and the fact that Sal seemed at first sight a rather two dimensional character was also clever because, as we were seeing her through her daughter s eyes, we would only know what Sal had been prepared or able to reveal to her daughter The sub plot of Hamid and his opposition to the Shah seemed rather shoved in to pad out the weaker part of the narrative i am not sure what its point was supposed to be other than showing perhaps the irresponsibility of a woman who would take her young son to a demonstration in which she had no real interest or opinion and secondly no certainty that it would not turn horribly violent There were a few moments when I took a sharp intake of breath as I was reading and i suppose that is what you want in a thriller All in all i was quite happy to have spent my time reading this but not the best thing i have ever read in the genre.