Thanks to my next door neighbor at work, I was able to bust through my reading slump this weekend. About a week ago, I reported for duty and discovered this book on my desk:
I finished Rescue, by Anita Shreve in a little more than two days. I read most of it on the beach. It’s about an EMT, Peter Webster, who falls in love with a patient, Sheila Arsenault. She is a wreckloose, who crashes her car while driving under the influence. (I know. So romantic.) Their whirlwind romance takes a sudden turn toward commitment and sobriety when she becomes pregnant. But in the end, her alcoholism is a stronger force than her new family. She leaves, and their daughter, Rowan, stays with her father.
Fast forward 18 years later, and Rowan is about to graduate from high school. She’s also starting to display some troubling teenaged behavior that Peter worries could be dangerous. The question becomes… will finding Sheila help Rowan? Is it even possible? Is Rowan destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps?
This is my third Anita Shreve novel. I loved The Pilot’s Wife and I also really liked Testimony. I thought both were very thought-provoking novels, and forced the reader to ask the question, “What would I do in this situation?” While I zoomed through Rescue, it didn’t give me the same stimulation. It was an emotional love story. Whether it’s a relationship or something else, I think we can all relate to wanting something we know is wrong, or bad for us. I guess the lesson here is that it’s never too late to try to set things right, no matter how many years have passed. But when I finished the book I guess I was hoping for some more insight. While the book was narrated from Peter’s point of view, I wanted more from Sheila and Rowan.
Bottom line: It’s a quick and enjoyable read, but it’s not Shreve’s best work.