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3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  10,581 Ratings  ·  1,011 Reviews
“I am Eva Delectorskaya,” Sally Gilmartin announces, and so on a warm summer afternoon in 1976 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 ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published 2007 by Bloomsbury (first published September 4th 2006)
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Tea Jovanović
Sjajan autor... mnoge knjige su mu i ekranizovane...

Nažalost, ovo je zasad jedina njegova knjiga prevedena na srpski... Ali ne gubimo nadu da ćemo mu opet naći izdavača :)
Apr 29, 2008 Alistair rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: someone on a long haul flight with 24 hours to spare
Recommended to Alistair by: my daughter sorry !
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
Jerry Cowhig
Sep 19, 2007 Jerry Cowhig rated it really liked it
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, oth
K.D. Absolutely
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 ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Cecily rated it really liked it
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
Jun 16, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
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 a
Jan 16, 2014 Mark rated it it was ok
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 sum
May 03, 2015 Chrissie rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Mar 01, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised to find this book on a list of the "best" spy novels, but not when I read it. It's not only a good one but it's different.

A woman tutoring foreign students in English while she half-heartedly completes a dissertation in history visits her mother in a picturesque village a short drive away. Her mother is a widow, in reasonable good health and in possession of her faculties. But Sally (the mother) has decided it's time to tell Ruth (the daughter) the truth about her life. She's rea
Bookmarks Magazine

Every critic agrees that William Boyd is a shamefully overlooked author on this side of the Atlantic. A powerful storyteller whose novels span genres and continents, Boyd often subtly ruminates on the thin line between private and public life. In Restless he fictionalizes a little-known moment of international espionage while using the conventions of spy thrillers to explore a generation gap. Critics roundly praise Sally's story. It's her daughter's story that's the trouble: a few reviewers find

Feb 22, 2009 Helena rated it it was amazing
This may well be the book that brings me back to fiction. I devoured it in seven days, rising and falling asleep with it. It's the story of a young British woman who discovers her mother was a British spy in the years leading up to the second world war. The story weaves back and forth as the mother retells the story. Boyd develops such interesting characters and his subplots are all so very interesting. If you want a good escape this is your book!
Apr 18, 2011 Esil rated it liked it
This was the second book by William Boyd I have read. I didn't like it as much as Any Human Heart--it didn't seem as rich. But it was still a good read. Spy novels tend to focus on men. This was an interesting perspective on what it would be like for a woman to live a double life--to hide much of who she is from her daughter.
Apr 17, 2011 Tony rated it it was amazing
Boyd, William. RESTLESS. (2006). *****.
Mr. Boyd has that remarkable ability and talent to tell a story that keeps the reader engaged right to the end. This is an espionage novel, a war novel, and a love story. Sally Gilmartin, a woman in her seventies living in Oxford, begins giving pieces of her memoirs to her daughter, Ruth – a single mom. She reveals, first of all, that she is not Sally Gilmartin, but actually Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian emigre recruited for the British Secret Service in 19
This book was phenomenal. I started it at 3 o' clock this afternoon and just read it straight through. (It's now 9pm and I still haven't eaten dinner.)

Ruth Gilmartin is a graduate student in history at Oxford, 28-year old single mother of a three-year old son, Jochen. On a hot Saturday in the summer of 1976 her world is turned upside down when her mother reveals that her identity as Sally Gilmartin (nee Fairchild) is an elaborately constructed fabrication. Turns out that Sally is actually Eva De
Oct 05, 2007 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sexy spies
Shelves: frillers
Long time since I read any William Boyd, I think he's like a lighter, wittier version of John Le Carre. I liked the dynamic between mother-with-mysterious past who was a spy in WW2 and stroppy grown-up daughter. Set in the heatwave of 1979 (or 8??) so there are a few moustache and cheesecloth references. Made me wish I'd been a spy.
Sep 22, 2015 Cynthia rated it really liked it
Restless is an entertaining. World War Two spy novel. T
He only reason I'm giving it only four stars is because the ending was weak.
Ubik 2.0
Sep 19, 2016 Ubik 2.0 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Restless, senza riposo.

Un solido romanzo di “spionaggio”, classico nella forma (due linee narrative alternate, con protagoniste madre e figlia, la prima delle quali si svolge negli anni della II guerra mondiale) ma originale per molti aspetti che si celano dietro l’apparenza di una tipica opera “di genere”.

Boyd in effetti non è Forsyth o Le Carré ma un autore contemporaneo inglese che in patria vanta una prestigio paragonabile ai McEwan, Coe o Barnes ed è un habitué dei premi letterari (questo “
David Ball
Mar 02, 2013 David Ball rated it it was ok
I bought this book on the back of a recommendation by somebody I interviewed back in 2006 or 2007, so it has sat on my bookshelf for the better part of five years. I needed something easy to read, as I booked myself a one day round trip flight from Copenhagen to London, so I grabbed it, despite the pretty poor rating given to it by my fellow Goodreads reviewers. I should have listened to you! I don't have anything against a pulpy spy novel (I loved the Girl with the Dragon tattoo trilogy), but t ...more
I disappeared into this book like I would have in a good movie. In fact I could see the movie play as I read the book. William Boyd manages to tiptoe around a few different genres here: thriller, historical fiction, fiction...Ah, is it all the French and different languages in the book that makes me want to say, C'est Magnifique? I don't know. What I do know is that 3-4 days reading the book and I was sad when it ended. It was one of those books that makes you savor each word.

Ruth always knew t
Amy Plum
Sep 03, 2016 Amy Plum rated it really liked it
I haven't read a spy novel in a long time, and absolutely loved this. Much more than a spy novel, it's an exploration of relationships and how one's take on one's life can change when a parent's story is told.
Ian Laird
Apr 20, 2015 Ian Laird rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, wartime
I was introduced to Restless, and to William Boyd, by Richard Tulloch, the co-creator of the outstanding Australian kids series Bananas in Pyjamas.

We were comparing notes on our best reads of the past twelve months. I was very glad for the introduction because I enjoyed Restless a lot. But not completely…

Particularly thrilling is the recruitment to the British Secret Service of a young woman, Eva, in a state of emotional distress following the loss of her brother, who has been murdered and she
Mike Kimera
Apr 02, 2010 Mike Kimera rated it really liked it
Shelves: mainstream, thriller
"Restless" is both a compelling thriller and a close look at the mechanics and consequences of deception. It slides easily across the tongue and then leaves an after-taste that is complex and intriguing.

The novel takes place on two historical timelines simultaneously: oxford in the the 1970's (presented as the present day) and Europe/US during World War II. In Oxford a young single mother taking her PhD, is handed a file by her eccentric mother. The file describes a life she did not know her mot
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction-uk
I must say that this is one of the finest mystery stories I've listened to. It is a beautifully-written novel and I'm planning to get more by this author. He is amazing.

The long and the short of the story is this:

Ruth Gilmartin is a graduate student with a young son, working as a tutor while she is supposed to be working on her thesis. She visits her mother Sally dutifully every weekend, and on one weekend, her mother makes the startling announcement that she thinks someone is trying to kill her
Kathleen Fowler
A well-written and suspenseful novel of espionage circa WWII. The heroine is intelligent, resourceful, complex and likeable. Her experiences are plausible and left me wondering if the British really were involved in operations of the sort described in the book.

The dual time frame structure of the book worked well. The two strands eventually meeting at the denouement brought the whole thing to a satisfying conclusion. My only criticism is that “The Story of Eva Delectorskaya” was written as just
Nick Davies
Jun 30, 2016 Nick Davies rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Probably a three point five star read overall, this novel about a woman who discovers her elderly mother was a WWII spy was certainly well-written and asked some interesting questions about identity, trust and what people are prepared to do sometimes.

I find William Boyd a good storyteller, and an intelligent writer, but I suppose I expected slightly more from the writing - it was all pretty strong and straight, with not much playfulness or quirkiness. The first half I enjoyed more than the denou
Dec 11, 2008 Martina rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Martina by: Raphaela
a really fun read!! it's about an ESL teacher who discovers her mother's past. the story takes place in some of my favorite locations - montreal, ny, london, and a brief journey on the LIRR to port jefferson,, story of my life??
Jan 25, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
Just arrived from UK through BM.

After have listen to the audiobook version, I decided to read the printed version.
Sep 19, 2008 Philip rated it it was amazing
In offering a review of a novel by William Boyd I could certainly be accused of bias. I would proudly plead guilty, since I regard him as one of just four or five British writers who are capable of constructing supreme works of fiction, written in a framework that is both informative and thought-provoking and all this set within a continuum of contemporary or historical events which themselves become re-interpreted by the fiction. In Restless, Boyd’s latest novel, he has re-stated this ability a ...more
Aug 17, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it
Restless by British novelist William Boyd is splendid tale of two tales woven together in which a cagey, adventuresome elderly mother uses her equally intelligent and strong-willed daughter to exact revenge on a man who wronged her--and many others--during his days as a Russian double agent in the British intelligence service back in World War II.

I say "back in World War II" because the novel's present day setting is 1976 and the World War II setting emerges from a memoir the mother writes recou
Jacquelynn Luben
Dec 23, 2009 Jacquelynn Luben rated it liked it
This was a reasonably interesting story, but marred by its main characters, with whom I could not really empathise. Not every reader feels the need to like the characters in a book, but for me, the relationships are very important.

This book is another timeslip novel, set in the 1970s and the 1940s. Ruth gets vaguely involved with some half hearted protestors, while her mother in the 1940s is a spy in an organisation which creates propaganda for use in the second world war. The two stories come
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February's Bookclub choice 1 7 Jan 25, 2014 06:06AM  
February's Bookclub choice 1 16 Jan 25, 2014 06:06AM  
  • Spies
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  • Charlotte Gray
  • Fred & Edie
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  • London Match (Bernard Samson, #3)

Of Scottish descent, Boyd was born in Accra, Ghana on 7th March, 1952 and spent much of his early life there and in Nigeria where his mother was a teacher and his father, a doctor. Boyd was in Nigeria during the Biafran War, the brutal secessionist conflict which ran from 1967 to 1970 and it had a profound effect on him.

At the age of nine years he attended Gordonstoun school, in Moray
More about William Boyd...

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“Maybe we should go by tube', he said.

A taxi'll come', she said. 'I'm in no hurry'.

She remembered something a woman in Paris had told her once. A woman in her forties, much married, elegant, a little world-weary. There is nothing easier in this world, this woman had claimed, than getting a man to kiss you. Oh really? Eva had said, so how do you do that? Just stand close to a man, the woman has said, very close, as close as you can without touching - he will kiss you in one minute or two. It's inevitable. For them it's like an instinct - they can't resist. Infaillible.

So Eva stood close to Romer in the doorway of the shop on Frith Street as he shooted and waved at the passing cars moving down the dark street, hoping one of them might be a taxi.

We're out of luck', he said, turning, to find Eva standing very close to him, her face lifted.

I'm in no hurry', she said.

He reached for her and kissed her.”
“I stood there in the kitchen, watching her staring across the meadow still searching for her nemesis and I thought, suddenly, that this is all our lives - this is the one fact that applies to us all, that makes us what we are, our common mortality, our common humanity. One day someone is going to come and take us away: you don't need to have been a spy, I thought, to feel like this.” 8 likes
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