'Eva Delectorskaya,' I said mystified. ' Who's that?' 'Me,' she said. 'I am Eva Delectorskaya.' What happens to your life when everything you thought you knew about your mother turns out to be an elaborate lie? During the long, hot summer of 1976, Ruth Gilmartin discovers that her very English mother Sally is really Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian ...
'Eva Delectorskaya,' I said mystified. ' Who's that?' 'Me,' she said. 'I am Eva Delectorskaya.' What happens to your life when everything you thought you knew about your mother turns out to be an elaborate lie? During the long, hot summer of 1976, Ruth Gilmartin discovers that her very English mother Sally is really Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian emigre and one-time spy. In 1939 Eva is a beautiful twenty-eight year old living in Paris. As war breaks out, she is recruited for the British Secret Service by Lucas Romer, a mysterious, patrician Englishman. Under his tutelage she learns to become the perfect spy, to mask her emotions and trust no one. Even those she loves most. Since then Eva has carefully rebuilt her life - but once a spy, always a spy. And now she must complete one last assignment. This time, though, Eva can't do it alone: she needs her daughter's help. Restless is a tour de force. Exploring the devastating consequences of duplicity and betrayal William Boyd's gripping novel captures the drama of the Second World War and a remarkable portrait of a female spy. Full of suspense, emotion and history, this is storytelling at its very finest
I loved the older story line and how the book has two narrators. However, this is not great literature. I didn't think the writing was particularly great. Skipping sentences and, in a few cases, paragraphs because the descriptions get dull and excessive is never a good sign. It seems like he was struggling with the more modern story--many aspects did nothing for me. Mr Boyd's writing is good enough, it just needs to be tightened. He seemed to struggle with the last two chapters, bringing the story to a close. That said, I thought it was generally enjoyable.
Aug 9, 2007
Unrestless Spy Thriller
I read this book as part of my book club reading list. It was an easy read and didn't tax me too much. The book moves between the past and the here and now the story being told by the daughter of the main protagonist. It was set in England and American during the war although the 'heroine' was orginally russian. In her twilight years the heroine reveals her true identity which sets her off on a detective like trail. Unfortunately, I was not breathlessly turning the pages, the story moved very slowly and was somewhat stereotypical as a spy thriller. The only intrigue was considering the notion of the sexual relationship between the heroine and the main male character. I'm not sure what was restless about the story - in summary a holiday beach read.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-08-21 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, n?e Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian ?migr? 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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