The alternative title for Restless should be "intrigue". There are several mysteries all going on at the same time: preWWII espionage, the main characters' unfolding lives and relationships, and shifts between the past and present on both levels.Restless also examines the question of betrayal on personal, interpersonal, and international levels. There are enough odd turns and odd characters to keep you guessing as to outcome. I did not like the main characters, but I cared what happened to them - that's good writing! Great read - a real page turner.
This is a well written novel about spying in Europe and the US before Pearl Harbor. Anyone who has enjoyed Alan Furst's WWII European spy novels would enjoy this one. I know I did.
This is an interesting character study period piece. I'm going to find it in the library and read it. I've tried listening for 4 hours now and, for me at least, the pace is way too low for an audiobook. There are complaints about the reader's accents -- she does a pretty good job with the voice demands but the story doesn't do well with episodic listening as I tend to do with audiobooks. Definitely not an audiobook to keep you awake on a long drive... but worth a read.
Absolutely wonderful narration, elegant writing and a thoroughly enjoyable book. I agree with the readers who commented that the second story is a little weak, but the main story pulls you along with irresistible force. More books by this author please!
This book just appropriates you, just sucks you into its airless, menacing world. Would give it 5, if not for a bit dissapointing second storyline. Out of two plotlines, run in parallel - one around WW2 era, second in 1976 - I was completely captivated by the spy story, and felt like fast forwarding through some of the events of 1976. However, the spy story is completely captivating, on the par with Le Carre at his best - characters live life of deception, betrayal and cold calculation of one's every step - and that completely redeems relatively weak second story line. The narrator, Rosamund Pike, is superb - she wonderfully does many characters of many nationalities and accents without a trace of vocal histrionics, gives them flesh, so to speak, making them 3-dimensional. William Boyd's twist on the history of the US entering WW2 is also an added value to this amazing book. Great many thanks to Audible for this treat! Give us more Boyd! :-)
Audio Book Fiend
Throughout this book I felt like I might now what the next twist was, but I was fooled. I really enjoyed learning more about the characters and how they grew to be who they are. My only little concern was that some of the daughter's story was really irrelevant to the overall narrative. However, that is a really minor issue and the sections don't last long. Also, I really enjoyed the resolution to the story and the consistency of the mother's actions throughout.
The narrator's voice will be in my head for a long time. I rarely write reviews, and only write this one for the prospective reader who searches for a book of substance that will transport you to a world gone by, and yet be totally contemporary.
Do we ever know our mothers? Restless' ability to interweave a spy story, a mother/daughter discovery, and a mystery so thrilling that up until the last moment I wondered...who would die? who would live? In the final chapter, the reader look inward to our own sense of mortality, no longer expecting answers from a writer who provokes and then allows our own philosophical bent to take charge of our thoughts and emotions.
My only complaint is that I will need to take an audio break now. Too restless to read anything else.
A great story, beautifully read. The switching between the two plot lines worked very well. Engrossing. Somehow the ending wasn't quite dramatic enough. But I'd definitely look for other works by this author or this narrator.
I thought the narrator did a good job, and her accent was very upperclass British, the way the characters would have spoken.
The historical background and the role that false propaganda played out, not only by the Germans, but by the Brits and the Americans during WWII. The interwoven story line going from 1976 back to 1940 and 41 was also effective.
Probably the young Ava.
I recently saw the miniseries done on the Sundance Channel, and while it was good, the book is much better.
I know this was a story that was supposed to have me riveted, but I thought it was fairly flat with some interesting spikes of action. Restless is a the type of book where you can't figure out exactly what is going on or why the characters are doing what they are doing until pretty near the end. Is this good quality literary fiction - yes; is it a riveting tale - no. I think I just prefer books where I understand the characters' motivations and actions more readily.