Book Review: Rescue by Anita Shreve


Sometimes in reading, familiarity is required, which is where Anita Shreve hits the spot for me.  In years gone by I read a lot of Anita Shreve although not so much recently.  However I still know that when ever I pick up an Anita Shreve I won’t be disappointed.

Rescue is the story of rookie paramedic Pete who following an emergency call rescues the troubled Sheila from a car accident.  They perhaps inevitably become a couple and embark on a tumultuous relationship which results in a daughter ‘Rowen’.  Pete is left to raise Rowan alone and watches helplessly as she follows the same destructive course of her mother before her.

Shreve has a way of writing that sharply defines characters and moments creating tension in the daily life of those she writes about.  This book isn’t full of adventure and action and it certainly isn’t full of characters.  Pete, Sheila and Rowan are the only significant characters but they are well developed as a family unit and also as individuals, and supplemented only by Petes parents and his co-worker playing bit parts.

The chance encounter between Pete and Sheila and a decision Pete makes early on shapes the course of their lives.  Sheila in particular had an edginess and unpredictability that made me nervous.  The story develops fairly slowly with lots of attention given to the fiery passion of the early part of Sheila and Rowan’ relationship.  Despite this it has enough in it to keep it ticking over, and addresses some important issues, family, commitment, trust, to name just a few.

If you are already enjoy Anita Shreve I suspect you will enjoy this.  If you haven’t read her before this may not be the book that will persuade you to read more.

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