I picked this up having read other books by the same author, but not realising I had seen the TV movie. I enjoyed it, but knowing what happened sort of spoiled it a bit for me. The idea is well developed and the scenes well crafted. I believed in the characters and liked the way the story slipped between the two time zones. William Boyd is always worth reading....Continua
Restless was the second William Boyd I read, and I much preferred it to the first one, which was Brazzaville Beach. I saw the BBC adaptation first and enjoyed it (despite not liking Charlotte Rampling much, I have to admit she did a good job of the older Eva, the heroine) and read the book to find out whether there was “more to it”. There wasn’t, really, so kudos to the BBC for a good adaptation.
Of course, having the filmed characters superimposed in my brain as I read was a distraction, but because I had enjoyed the film, it was not really an annoyance. No trouble joining the dots this time round, I just had to exercise a little mental agility to work out who was bluffing whom in what is essentially a spy drama, which spans both war and peace time.
Reviewing the plot in much greater detail would give it away, but the basic storyline is that we follow a young French woman of Russian origin who enrols after her brother’s death in His Majesty’s secret services in the early 1930s, is active as a spy during the war in the UK and elsewhere; and we follow in parallel her older self, who now has a grown up daughter and a young grandson and who lives holed up in a cottage not too far away from Oxford.
It made for an attractive “period piece” (or rather two periods, the thirties/forties and the seventies) on screen and it made for an enjoyable read too....Continua
Thriller combining WW2 spy games with the gradual revealing of the mysteries of a mother's past.
Satisfying focus on spy-craft and other espionage minutia, LeCarre style. I would have liked more of the historical story (the mother) but the balance with the daughter's slightly grimy 70's England was well handled....Continua
A quick and v. satisfying spy thriller. Not that anything in particular was ever resolved, but seeing the progression of a spy's life and all it's implications v. interesting. Ultimately it's about the lies that are woven and how one lives with them. Any family revelation could apply here - it's how you deal with what you thought you knew, or who you thought you were, being completely turned over....Continua