Anita Shreve is one of my all-time favorite authors. I have read every one of her novels. This is my first time listening to one of her books instead of reading it the old-fashioned way. I enjoy audiobooks and it was interesting to determine whether a Shreve novel would translate well to an audiobook.
Rescue is a novel that encompasses many of Shreve’s themes throughout the portfolio of her work. Sheila Arsenault is a woman on the run from an abusive relationship. After crashing her car in an alcohol fueled incident, Sheila is rescued by rookie paramedic Peter Webster. Webster is taken by the beautiful young victim and searches her out after she is discharged from the hospital. Webster is determined to help her and falls in love along the way. Sheila is happy to be rescued, but finds that old demons are hard to leave behind.
Eighteen years later, Webster is raising their daughter, Rowan alone. Rowan unfortunately seems to have inherited some dangerous addictions and traits from her mother. Will Webster be able to save his daughter or is it already too late?
I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Dennis Holland did a fairly good reading of the novel, although I found his attempts at a Boston accent to be rather jarring. I almost wanted to do the dishes every day so I could listen to what was going to happen next. I found the plot to be compelling, but the best thing about the novel was the in depth character studies. Rash decisions that were made in youth can lead to consequences that can last a life time.
I also found Webster’s job as a paramedic to be very interesting as were the stories of his rescues. I’ve never read a book with a paramedic as the main character and I really enjoyed it. It left me wanting to know even more about the profession. I think it was a great way to talk about how Webster rescued people as his job in life, but that he had troubles at home with rescuing his wife and his daughter. It’s not as easy to rescue those you love from addictions and bad behavior.
Anita Shreve is a gifted writer. I love her style of writing. That being said, while Rescue was a good book, I still hold some of her earlier works such as The Weight of Water and Fortune’s Rocks in much higher regard. I kind of miss her historical books!
Overall, Rescue was a compelling story with great characters that I enjoyed listening too.
This is my first item for the Audiobook Challenge 2011.
Audiobook Source: Review copy from Hachette Book Group. Thank-you!