By Anita Shreve
Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316020725, 304pp.
Publication Date: November 30, 2010
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.
"From its opening car crash, 'Rescue' is worth the ride....No one can create the beginning of a complex relationship like Shreve....Shreve gets deep inside these characters, and her insights draw us into their lives.... A story of hope and fear, of promises made and broken.... Shreve creates a little world, peoples it with believable characters, and puts them through agonizing and joyful moments without a false note or a dissonant figure of speech."
"A paramedic and the troubled young beauty he saves propel Shreve's engrossing latest...With the insistent thrum of life-and-death EMT calls as background, Shreve's vividly told tale captures the deep-seated fears of mortality and loneliness that can drive us to test the bounds of family and forgiveness."
"Rescue is Shreve at her best....Shreve knows love may be intense, life-changing and passionate, but it is never enough. Her characters bruise each other as much as they comfort each other...."Rescue" is full of themes Shreve loves: How a moment can change a life; loss and love; forgiveness and pain."
"Compelling.... Fans of Anita Shreve will likely devour this new novel."
"A thoroughly absorbing, perfectly paced domestic drama. Alternating between life-and-death scenarios Pete encounters on the job and the fraught family tension between father and daughter, Shreve pulls readers right into her story."