book review: Rescue

Title: Rescue
Author: Anita Shreve
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (November 30, 2010)
Category: contemporary fiction
Rating: B-

When Rowan was twelve, Webster told her that her mother had been an alcoholic and that was why she had to go away and get help. He never dreamed that his daughter would see this as her legacy.

Both Anita Shreve and Jodi Picoult have an innate storytelling technique to take current issues/ events and turn them inside out by exploring every angle and all the individuals involved. That’s why I continue to read both authors. In Rescue, Shreve focuses her attention on a dedicated single father and paramedic in Vermont. Peter Webster had a short, turbulent love affair with his daughter’s mother, Sheila, who was an alcoholic. Sheila captivated Webster with her free sprit and Webster attracted Sheila with his stability. When their daughter Rowan is two, Webster sends his wife away after Sheila has another DUI accident with their daughter in the car. At 18, Rowan seems to be going through her own issues in high school and turns to binge drinking. Webster worries so much about Rowan that he considers asking Sheila to return. Shreve does an excellent job with both Sheila and Webster and their reasons for being together. It’s also always interesting to have the father/daughter connection and focus on the father as the single parent. Rowan’s issues with alcohol seem like run-of-the-mill teenage experimentation to me and that’s where Rescue falls a bit flat as the story doesn’t linger in one’s mind after reading as much as some of Shreve’s previous novels.

buy at Amazon: Rescue: A Novel

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