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Sunday, June 12, 2011

'Rescue' by Anita Shreve

What's this one about?

A rookie paramedic pulls a young woman alive from her totaled car, a first rescue that begins a lifelong tangle of love and wreckage. Sheila Arsenault is a gorgeous enigma--streetwise and tough-talking, with haunted eyes, fierce desires, and a never-look-back determination. Peter Webster, as straight an arrow as they come, falls for her instantly and entirely. Soon Sheila and Peter are embroiled in an intense love affair, married, and parents to a baby daughter. Like the crash that brought them together, it all happened so fast.

Can you ever really save another person? Eighteen years later, Sheila is long gone and Peter is raising their daughter, Rowan, alone. But Rowan is veering dangerously off track, and for the first time in their ordered existence together, Webster fears for her future. His work shows him daily every danger the world contains, how wrong everything can go in a second. All the love a father can give a daughter is suddenly not enough.

Sheila's sudden return may be a godsend--or it may be exactly the wrong moment for a lifetime of questions and anger and longing to surface anew. What tore a young family apart? Is there even worse damage ahead? The questions lifted up in Anita Shreve's utterly enthralling new novel are deep and lasting, and this is a novel that could only have been written by a master of the human heart.

What did I think?

This book was my introduction to Anita Shreve and I first stumbled across it in a goodreads giveaway. While I unfortunately didn't win the giveaway contest the synopsis of 'Rescue' stayed with me so I decided to read it. At times while reading 'Rescue' I wanted more to happen in the plot, but by the end, I thought the direction Shreve took this story was perfect!

Shreve delivers a great story about a family's struggle with alcoholism, and the rippling effect it has on it's members. All the character in 'Rescue were interesting to read about. I did question Webster's motives to peruse a relationship with Sheila, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought 'can you really help who you fall in love with?' While it might not have been a match made in heaven, for the purposes of this story it worked--which of course is Shreve's intent. I also must say I really enjoyed reading about Webster's job as an EMT. This is a profession I have to admit fascinates me, so I personally never lost interest in the story.
I thoroughly enjoy when a story reflects its title and 'Rescue' certainly does. Webster's personal dilemma in this book is how can he rescue people for a living, but struggle to rescue his family from the trauma and pain of alcoholism? This is a great book that does a great job pulling at its readers heartstrings.

How many starts?

[Anita Shreve's Website]

Published by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 0316020729 (ISBN13: 9780316020725)
Hardcover: 288 pages

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