Book Review: Rescue – Anita Shreve

Title: Rescue
Author: Anita Shreve
ISBN: 9780316020725
Pages: 304
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Summary:

EMT Peter Webster is worried he is losing his daughter, Rowan.  She is a high school senior, and has been making bad choices.  Peter has done the best he can with her, but he can’t help but think of her mother, Sheila, who left them when Rowan was just a baby. As things begin to spiral out of Peter’s control, he considers reaching out to the one person who might be able to help Rowan – Sheila herself.

Review:

I’ve read a few Anita Shreve books, and I do admire her as a writer.  While I haven’t loved everything I’ve read by her (A Change in Altitude being a prime example), Testimony was an impressive and powerful book that still is with me today.  After hearing mixed reviews of Rescue, I wasn’t sure what to think, so I went into the book with an open mind.  While I didn’t love this book, I did enjoy the process of reading it.

I loved the character of Peter.  Just as he rescues people in his job as an EMT, trying as hard as he can to save people’s lives, he wants to rescue those around him as well.  This is what happens with Sheila – from the beginning, the reader knows that Peter tried (and failed) to “save” her.  When Rowan seems to be starting down the same path, Peter is understandably worried.  After all, Rowan is all that he has left.

Rescue was an interesting look into the life of an EMT.  It’s a difficult life, and Peter describes the burnout that affects most people after just a few months.  That is completely understandable, after seeing what Peter faces on a day-to-day basis.  I appreciated this insight into working as an EMT, and for me it was the most interesting part of the novel.

There were also aspects I didn’t love about Rescue. It was predictable and a little bit cliché towards the end.  It was simultaneously a quick read, yet very slow because overall, not a lot happens in the book, even as Shreve’s smooth writing helps the reader journey through it quickly.  That being said, I still enjoyed the process of reading it.  I got involved in Charlie’s journey, and though Rowan never endeared herself to me, that was enough to keep me interested in the novel.  If you’re looking for a personal story, light and quick, but that will still make you think, this is a good novel to pick up.

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Comments

  1. Testimony on audio left me shaking, it was so powerful. I have heard that some of her other work doesn’t quite hit that same high mark though. I’ve got a couple of her books on my shelves, but haven’t picked them up for that reason.

  2. Testimony on audio left me shaking, it was so powerful. I have heard that some of her other work doesn’t quite hit that same high mark though. I’ve got a couple of her books on my shelves, but haven’t picked them up for that reason.

  3. Most fans seem to love her earlier work better. The first one that I read was Testimony and I really liked it and I enjoyed A Change in Altitude quite a bit as well, but with so many good books out, I didn’t read this one. I’m taking a little break.

  4. Most fans seem to love her earlier work better. The first one that I read was Testimony and I really liked it and I enjoyed A Change in Altitude quite a bit as well, but with so many good books out, I didn’t read this one. I’m taking a little break.

  5. I feel like I have so much to read that if something isn’t amazing I have to just pass it up, LOL. I did have this book at one point but swapped it with someone who I think would like it better and I’m thinking I made the right decision.

  6. I feel like I have so much to read that if something isn’t amazing I have to just pass it up, LOL. I did have this book at one point but swapped it with someone who I think would like it better and I’m thinking I made the right decision.

  7. I am not a big fan of Shreve having read a few of her books that I found to be lackluster. I don’t think that this one is for me, but I did appreciate reading your thoughts on it.

  8. I am not a big fan of Shreve having read a few of her books that I found to be lackluster. I don’t think that this one is for me, but I did appreciate reading your thoughts on it.

  9. The last few books from Shreve really haven’t done much for me. That being said I loved some of her earlier work and I imagine I will try this one at some time.

  10. The last few books from Shreve really haven’t done much for me. That being said I loved some of her earlier work and I imagine I will try this one at some time.

  11. Shreve is one of my favorite authors, but there are a couple of her books that I could take or leave. Looking forward to reading this one soon!

  12. Shreve is one of my favorite authors, but there are a couple of her books that I could take or leave. Looking forward to reading this one soon!

  13. I think I liked this one better than you did, but I agree that it might not be her strongest. On the other hand, there was a lot to think about here too.

  14. I think I liked this one better than you did, but I agree that it might not be her strongest. On the other hand, there was a lot to think about here too.

  15. I loved A Change in Altitude (the only Shreve I’ve read), and I was excited for this one. I wasn’t enjoying it and decided to stop after about twenty pages. When I decided to read the last ten, I was glad. It ended just as I imagined. I’m still eager to explore more of her backlist, especially Testimony.

  16. I loved A Change in Altitude (the only Shreve I’ve read), and I was excited for this one. I wasn’t enjoying it and decided to stop after about twenty pages. When I decided to read the last ten, I was glad. It ended just as I imagined. I’m still eager to explore more of her backlist, especially Testimony.

  17. It sounds like this one isn’t up to the high standard I expect from Shreve.

  18. It sounds like this one isn’t up to the high standard I expect from Shreve.

  19. I read and was blown away by Fortunes Rocks, and ever since then, I’ve read all of Shreve’s books but have never found one that lives up to that. She’s so good at atmosphere and tension, but sometimes forget that you do need a bit of story as well!

  20. I read and was blown away by Fortunes Rocks, and ever since then, I’ve read all of Shreve’s books but have never found one that lives up to that. She’s so good at atmosphere and tension, but sometimes forget that you do need a bit of story as well!

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