What happens when everything you thought you knew about your mother turns out to be an elaborate lie? During the summer of 1976, Ruth Gilmartin discovers that her very English mother, Sally, is really Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigrée and one-time spy.
Recruited for the British Secret Service at the start of the Second World War by the mysterious Lucas Romer, Eva learns to become the perfect spy, to mask her emotions and trust no one. Since then, Eva has carefully rebuilt her life - but once a spy, always a spy. And now she must complete one final assignment. This time, though, she needs Ruth's help.
©2006 William Boyd; (P)2006 Bloomsbury Publishing
A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.
I always loved the spy thrillers in the style of Len Deighton and Le Carre.
This book carries on that tradition and really brings to life the era.
"A worthwhile listen"
'Restless' is an enjoyable listen that's fast paced, even gripping at times, although its 'final analysis' was somewhat unconvincing, and perhaps even shallow (for an award-winning novel). Nonetheless, I'd gladly recommend it to anyone, particularly those who enjoy spy novels. And, as others have noted elsewhere, Rosamund Pike has done an excellent job narrating the book!
By the way, I chose this version of 'Restless' over the other version by Macmillan Audio as it was a lot cheaper, and I have no regrets.
Simply the best audiobook I've 'read' so far.
The escape through the parking lot in Europe after the 'double cross'.
She successfully alternates between past and present, clearly bringing out the flavour of the times. Her narration brings out the 'cold' and unforgiving nature of the events of the past as against the familiar present and finally brings out the uncertainty of the present that needs and leads to (unpleasant?) resolution. No doubt a large part of this is the authors skill, but I will always somehow connect this with the dramatic portrayal of the protagonist.
Yes, though there's a contrary sentiment of wanting to savour it (familiar to every reader?).
Narration plays a huge roll in the appreciation of an audiobook, and Restless is a hands down winner on this account. It has also put me on to the talent of William Boyd who I had not read before.
"A different kind of spy story.."
I'm not usually a reader of spy novels, but took the chance on this since I've loved everything else I've read by William Boyd so far. This story has all the elements of a traditional spy story, but there's depth and richness here as well as action and thrills. There's more emotion here, too. Of course there's a love story, and the two narrators of the story are a British spy during the second world war and her daughter, who slowly discovers that the mother she thought she knew has a secret, tragic and still dangerous history. As usual Boyd adds in plenty of historical detail. Rosamunde Pike's narration is beautiful. Perfect for the characters, the period and the tone of the book.
The part of the story where Eva begins to suspect she has been betrayed is nerve-wracking. And so are many others.
This version of Restless seems to be exactly the same as the more popular one selling at twice the price.
"A gripping and thoughtful book"
This is one of the best audio books that I have listened to for some time - out of about 250 in all! William Boyd's books transfer to audio really well, and 'Restless' is no exception. He always has a thoughtful and believable plot, characters are interesting and well drawn, the story both grips and provokes, the pace of the book never lets up, and it is never for a moment dull. He gets inside of the mind of what it might have been like to be a spy, trusting no-one.
The background detail is very convincing too (though I heard him on the radio saying that he had made much of it up!).
Narration is excellent too.
Get this book - you will not be disappointed.
"Good WW2 thriller and mother-and-daughter story"
Mother and daughter story, set in 1970s Britain. Sally makes a big revelation to her daughter Ruth regarding her past, and role as a spy in WW2. With this, she changes everything Ruth thought she knew about her mom.
Novel follows two stories - one above mentioned and second one set in 1939-1942, about British spy operations in the war. Each story has its own atmosphere and is narrated in different style. Story from the past is darker, more melodramatic, but as told in third person (present story is in first), it is also less personal.
Story is interesting, atmosphere excellent and author manages to capture the feeling of being followed and how ex-spies must have felt after ending their careers. Recommended reading both for WW2 lovers, but not only for us...
Narration is spot on and will make you enjoy the book even more.
"More than just a 'spy story'"
This has to be one of the best audio books I have listened to. I dithered a bit before downloading it as 'spy stories' are not really my thing. I was very surprised by how quickly the story gripped me. The writing is brilliant and Rosamund Pike's narration really does it justice.
This is well worth a listen.
This is the audiobook that did it for me! I'd found audiobooks quite difficult to get into, but that was before i listened to Restless. From the very beginning i was drawn into the world of both the central charachters. The narrator is very good at helping you to decipher between all the charathers as well. And being set all over the world, she did well with all the different accents. I'm now very excited about choosing my next listen!
"Excellent trip into the world of WWII Spies!"
A definite 5 star book despite 2 chapters being recorded in the wrong order. Don't worry, this won't spoil the book in any way, it just makes you think, 'hang on, have I missed something?'. It quickly sorts itself out and the chapters in question are very short.
The trip into the world of espionage is fascinating as is the tie back to present day (well, 1976). I won't say anymore apart from - go buy!
"a first class listen"
Having very much enjoyed reading this book when it first came out and being a great William Boyd fan, I looked forward to listening to this audiobook with great anticipation. I was not disappointed. We listened on a long car journey and even though we knew what was going to happen, we became very much involved in this carefully woven, beautifully written narrative. Rosamund Pike is an excellent reader and I will definitely look out for other titles read by her.
I nearly missed my stop on the train because I was so engrossed in this wonderful story. By far the best audiobook I've downloaded. Rosamund Pike's narration is subtle and gives even more depth to the already beautiful and moving text.
Can't find any other William Boyd audiobooks on here and am now desperate for more!
Get it now- just keep half an eye on the train stations as they pass!
This really has to be my favourite audiobook so far. I was totally engrossed in Restless and found myself listening at every opportunity. Rosamund Pike (she played Frost in 007?s Die Another Day) does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life and I couldn?t imagine reading it without all the different accents she manages to do so well. I think she really makes this a fabulous listen and I was quite lost when it ended. Not my usual type of book but I really feel like I have been given a true insight into espionage in the second world war and this has left me wanting more of the same.
This was a wonderful listen, William Boyd never fails to deliver a good story. The charactors are believable and you want to know what happens next. The story teaches you about not trusting, spying and the war and lots more... It is read with thought and consideration to the charactors.
"Great Story but unconvincingly read"
Involved, gripping, educational
Can't think of any
As far as the female characters were concerned, yes. As regards the male characters absolutely useless and to be frank was a constant irritation.
Sort of apart from the male characterisations
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