Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review - Rescue by Anita Shreve

Rescue by Anita Shreve
published November, 2010
288 pages

Synopsis from publisher:

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?

My thoughts:

Anita Shreve's novels are always a toss-up for me - sometimes they really grab me (Light on Snow), and sometimes I can barely make it through them (Sea Glass). She has become one of my "must read" authors, and even though I don't know if I will like it or hate it, I can't resist grabbing every book she writes.

Rescue was an engrossing if slightly predictable read. I don't think Shreve did anything terribly groundbreaking, either with her characters or plot, but what she does she does well, and I was drawn into the story from the beginning. Webster is appealing and earnest, and teenaged Rowan doesn't lose her sweetness even when she's being all teenager-y. I don't think anyone who reads widely will be surprised by most of the plot twists, but the familiarity felt comfortable to me, in the same way that watching Bo and Hope fight and then make up always feels a little bit like coming home.

Rescue is the kind of novel you read when you want to know exactly what you are getting into - and Shreve does it better than anyone. A little bit of humor, a little bit of angst, the occasional tug at your heartstrings - it's just a good story, and completely entertaining from beginning to end. It won't be the best book I read all year, but it was sure fun while it lasted.

Finished: 1/26/11
Source: public library
MPAA rating: PG-13 for scenes involving drinking and sexuality
My rating: 7/10


Cindy said...

Shreve is one of my favorite authors and I can't wait to read this one!

Zibilee said...

Shreve and I don't see eye to eye sometimes. I haven't liked any of the books I have read from her, with Sea Glass being the worst. I know there are lots of people out there who love her though, so my mind is still open enough to give this one a try. Fantastic review, Elizabeth! I also love the new look of the blog. Such a pretty color!

Carolynn said...

Ha! Bo and hope!
New background/design? Cu-ute!

Kailana said...

I used to read Shreve all the time, but I haven't really read much from her in years. I must remedy that!

Anna said...

I wonder if I'm in the minority...I loved Sea Glass! I agree that some of her books are just okay and some are really good. I look forward to reading this one.

Elizabeth said...

Cindy - I hope you like it!

Heather - Thanks! I had fun changing up the blog a bit.

Carolynn - You know it's good when you can reference a soap opera. =)

Kailana - this might be a good one to start up with again.

Anna - I know other people who loved Sea Glass - I think it was just not the right style for me.

Mystica said...

I have liked Shreve before and would like to read this. Thanks for the review.