by William Boyd

Arlene Almas (10/23/12): Ruth is living in a quiet, peaceful corner of rural England with her son, teaching English as a foreign language. Out of the blue her mother Sally, who lives nearby, asks for her help because she believes her life is in danger. When Ruth demands more information before she can begin to help her mother, Sally provides her with the story of her past, one chapter at a time - a life history that has been entirely unknown to Ruth. As a young woman originally from Russia, Sally - then Eva - was recruited into the British Secret Service and played an intelligence role during World War II. How this role led to the current threat to her life is the gist of the novel, forming a very intriguing narrative. Both Sally and Ruth are well-developed characters, with Sally's past and Ruth's present coming vividly to life.
Rating: ****

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