Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.
Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.
Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!
Author: William Boyd
Length: 336 pages
What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):
“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 passports and retreated to secret safe houses, a woman taught to lie and deceive, and above all, to never trust anyone.
Three decades later the secrets of Sally’s past still haunt her. Someone is trying to kill her and at last she has decided to trust Ruth with her story. Ruth, meanwhile, is struggling to make sense of her own life as a young single mother with an unfinished graduate degree and escalating dependence on alcohol. She is drawn deeper and deeper into the astonishing events of her mother’s past—the mysterious death of Eva’s beloved brother, her work in New York City manipulating the press in order to shift public sentiment toward American involvement in the war, and her dangerous romantic entanglement. Now Sally wants to find the man who recruited her for the secret service, and she needs Ruth’s help.
Restless is a brilliant espionage book and a vivid portrait of the life of a female spy. Full of tension and drama, and based on a remarkable chapter of Anglo-American history, this is fiction at its finest.
How and when I got it:
I’m not sure! But I think I picked it up either at a used book store or a library sale several years ago.
Why I want to read it:
Someone — and I don’t remember who! — recommended this book to me. Strongly. I believe it was one of my book group friends, because I pretty much always take their recommendations to heart — they all have excellent taste!
Restless sounds intriguing. I love stories about hidden identities and multi-generational family secrets. The WWII setting and the focus on a female spy make this book sound like something I’d really enjoy.
I’ve previously read one book by this author, Brazzaville Beach, and even though it was many years ago, it’s a book that was disturbing and fascinating and has stayed with me ever since.
What do you think? Would you read this book? Have you read any other books by William Boyd that you’d recommend?
Please share your thoughts!
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8 thoughts on “Shelf Control #271: Restless by William Boyd”
Never read Boyd before but the description of this one is certainly very intriguing.
I have friends who love his books, and this does sound good!
This book sounds really good! Hope you enjoy it when you read it. Love the idea of this meme. 😉
Thanks so much! I don’t think I’ll ever run out of unread books…
This sounds so good! I love secret identities too. I’ve never read Boyd but I know people love his books.
After I posted this, I discovered that this book was made into a TV mini-series that looks great too (starring Hayley Atwell!), so I have a bit of extra motivation now to read it. 🙂
Actually, this was the first book by Boyd that I ever read, and it made me a fan. Okay, so I haven’t read everything since then, but I’ve read some, and he has yet to disappoint! Here’s my review from 2015! http://tcl-bookreviews.com/2015/04/09/the-calm-within-the-storm/
Oh, awesome, that’s great to hear! And thanks for the link!