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Restless | [William Boyd]

Restless

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 émigré recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: William Boyd has crafted an espionage thriller that's as good as anything by John Le Carré. Even better, it's narrated by Rosamund Pike, whose careful, measured, and precise performances as the novel's two main characters held me spellbound. Not surprisingly, this production was a multiple Audie Award nominee and winner. –Corey Thrasher

Publisher's Summary

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 émigré recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939. Sally has buried many secrets along with the name Eva Delectorskaya, including her work 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. As the truth comes out, Ruth is drawn deeper and deeper into the astonishing events of her mother's past. Restless is a tour de force from William Boyd. Full of tension and drama, and based on a remarkable chapter of Anglo-American history, this is storytelling at its finest.

©2006 William Boyd; (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a divison of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Fiction, Unabridged, 2007

"This fascinating story is well told." (Publishers Weekly)
"[An] espionage thriller and domestic drama by one of the very best prose stylists and storytellers in the English language." (Atlantic Monthly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1088 )
5 star
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4.2 (266 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Keren Rockwall, TX, United States 02-18-08
    Keren Rockwall, TX, United States 02-18-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intriguing On Many Levels"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William R. Creech Bainbridge Island, WA United States 12-17-06
    William R. Creech Bainbridge Island, WA United States 12-17-06 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Atmospheric espionage novel"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Toledo, OH, USA 04-23-10
    Karen Toledo, OH, USA 04-23-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting premise - slow for an audiobook"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Burbank, CA, USA 04-20-09
    Kathleen Burbank, CA, USA 04-20-09
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    "Intriguing"

    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!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roman Novosibirsk, Russia 04-06-09
    Roman Novosibirsk, Russia 04-06-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing book!"

    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! :-)

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Twin Cities, MN 09-08-08
    Amazon Customer Twin Cities, MN 09-08-08 Member Since 2001

    Audio Book Fiend

    HELPFUL VOTES
    115
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    "Loved the Twists and Turns"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Kirschner New York, NY USA 12-01-07
    Ann Kirschner New York, NY USA 12-01-07 Member Since 2002

    Ann

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfection, not Restless"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jancie Celebration, FL, United States 02-25-13
    Jancie Celebration, FL, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2005
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    Story
    "Riveting look at a different kind of a spy."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Restless to be better than the print version?

    I thought the narrator did a good job, and her accent was very upperclass British, the way the characters would have spoken.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Rosamund Pike – was your favorite?

    Probably the young Ava.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, definitely!


    Any additional comments?

    I recently saw the miniseries done on the Sundance Channel, and while it was good, the book is much better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 11-13-12
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 11-13-12 Member Since 2008
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    "I was Restless"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 06-15-08
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 06-15-08 Member Since 2005

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Spy story"

    The Narrator was excellent and the story was so interesting. it is about a woman and her mother. The woman finds out that her mother was a spy during the early years of World War II in England. Told from the point of view of both the daughter and the mother during her spy years in the form of a recently written memoir. As the daughter learns more and more about the woman she calls her mother but really has never known, she begins to look for adventure in her own life. Finally she decides to help her mother get back at the person who tried to kill her and forced her underground. I was immediatly drawn into the story and couldn't wait to listen to my ipod whenever I got in the car.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
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