Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rescue” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  9,962 ratings  ·  1,432 reviews
The car crash should have killed her. But rookie paramedic Peter Webster takes the emergency call, and helps the young woman, Sheila Arsenault, to survive. After the accident, she haunts his thoughts, despite his misgivings about getting involved with a patient.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Little Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rescue, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rescue

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
My Take: This book is a tricky one to review. Tricky because Anita Shreve is an incredibly gifted writer. Her style is unique and her voice clear. But this book was not interesting to me.

Summary: Small town young man saves trashy but sexy drunk stranger. Before developing any kind of meaningful relationship with her, they have a quick wham, bam, and thank you ma'am. And then some more. And then she announces she's pregnant. She's still trashy and he (Webster, the protagonist) gives up his dream
Shreve is a mixed bag. I really liked a book of hers (Pilot's Wife), then picked up an awful one (Wedding in December), and would've sworn off her altogether except I then ended up really loving another one of hers (Testimony), then couldn't even get through her recent one (The One Where They Are on a Mountain) - anyway that all being said I was in a rush to find SOMETHING to read (step it up, goodreaders, I am short on recommendations!) and so I just went for it.
Well, it's pretty bad. The novel
My least favourite Anita Shreve. I am happy to read books about small lives,with small stories, ( I loved, and understood the thinking behind, 'Something Happened', for example)but this was too small. Whilst I appreciate any avoidance of a narrative driven by unlikelihoods and exaggeration, I just couldn't 'get' why this particular story had been written. The blurb in my edition used the word 'seismic' to describe events. My seismograph must be unplugged as I detected nothing other than the cons ...more
This book would have been more accurately titled if they'd gone with "Don't Bother". Sometimes I like to read brain-candy books, which is where Anita Shreve comes in. I came expecting no literary work, but this book??!! Truly, it is a stupid book. Unfortunately, it's an easy enough read that I didn't stop reading it altogether, but this is one of those books that I finished and thought, "Someone actually PUBLISHED that?!" Not because it is smut. Not because the main characters are unlikeable. It ...more
I would have rated it just a single star, but I feel the need to reserve that for books that I truly can not stand, not books that I just found dumb and boring.

Rescue is the story of a young paramedic who responds to a car crash. He finds a woman who has managed to run her car off the road and into a tree. A drunk driving incident. Sounds like a catch doesn't she. Webster, the paramedic, peruses her, she ends up getting pregnant and they marry. The marriage unravels and Webster is left to raise
Lee Anne
I was glad this book was over when I turned the last page, but I was extremely unhappy with the way I felt about the characters. I gave it two stars because I did read it in one afternoon, trying to find out what the big secret was that the book flap hinted at. I didn't give it three stars because I still don't know.

I felt I knew more about Webster, the main character / father / husband, and his skills as a medic than I did as a person. What made him want to pursue this girl who was selfish enou
Much to my frustration, this is the second review that I am writing about this book. Despite my instructions to SAVE ,the first has vanished into cyberspace.

I enjoyed reading Anita Shreve's most recent contribution, but I have found others that she has written more satisfying. I will not create any "spoilers" here. Further plot descriptions are readily available elsewhere.

Shreve's narrative skills are evident and she has created a degree of tension, but the novel did not require that the read
Eileen Granfors
This arrived today, so Jane's adventures with Lord Byron will have to wait a couple days. I hope this is one of Shreve's good ones. A few have disappointed, but I'm still an ardent fan.

I liked "Rescue." Thinking about the books by Shreve that have ranked highly on my reader's list, one common denominator is that the book has fewer characters and more depth. So, like "Where or When" (my absolute Shreve favorite), "Rescue" focuses tightly on one family: Sheila, Webster, and Rowan.

Part of the book
Mary Gramlich
RESCUE by Anita Shreve
November 30, 2010 - Little, Brown & Company - Hardcover, 288 pages
ISBN-13: 9780316020725

Can you save someone else from their demons?

Peter Webster was 21 when he literally saved Sheila Arsenault’s life. His EMT team was responding to the call for medical assistance and they met. While these were less than ideal circumstances a relationship was formed and Sheila grabbed on with both hands to Webster’s lifeline. Webster had the one and only thing Sheila craved – normalcy.

Elizabeth Sulzby
Shreve is always a good read, with high human interest, I thought. Alas, on p. 163- of 288 pages, I wrote in the margin: Show me, don't tell me to death. Shortly after that point, the story focus began to move to the current time. The ending action was well executed and should have grabbed my heart, but it just didn't. And the ending came so abruptly and with such a letdown. Perhaps it was my mood, but not for those first 163+ pages. There is a lot of detail about the work of EMT's, but too much ...more
I've got mixed feelings about this one. The writing started out as the lovely sort of tone and flow that Anna Quildlen can do, but then veered into obvious, on-the-nose dialogue and plot points that led the book into melodrama worthy of Nicholas Sparks.

At 23, Pete Webster, working as an EMT, rescues a drunk Bostonian (named Sheila) from a car accident. Though she's an alcoholic (and pool hustler?) and he exists in a Mayberry sort of world in Vermont, he inexplicibly falls in lust. She gets preg
I went to the library looking for a different book that they didn't have, so I picked up this one instead. When this first came out earlier this year it was everywhere. It seemed like I couldn't walk into a book store without seeing a thousand copied of this book in some kind of pyramid-shaped display. So the book stuck in my head and when I saw it on the shelf, I decided to give it a try. I don't really know how to review it other than to say it was okay. It kept me entertained, I didn't begrud ...more
This is a story of a young EMT man who falls in love with a patient of his following an accident as a result of her drunk driving. The story starts in the present and then takes the reader back 18 years to give the reader the opportunity to understand how it is just Webster and his daughter Rowan we read about in the beginning. I am a huge fan of Anita Shreve because of the way she is able to write characters vividly and entwine the reader with their every emotion. This book does not fail or dis ...more
Marcy Peskin-Larkin
I was drawn to this book by the promise of a well written EMT based novel. It was as fair an interpretation as a writer with no personal EMS history could write. Even in a small town, the coincidence of our protagonist being on the scene for both accidents involving his daughter seemed repetitive and almost beyond belief.

I wanted to like this book more. I wasn't expecting the dark cloud to be constantly present. Some burst of a sunlit uplifting scene could have made all the difference instead o
Daniel Parsons
My first Anita Shreve book, which I picked up in a Wal Mart in the middle of nowhere and only because there was nothing else that caught my attention, and it wont be my last. The adage of never trusting a book by its cover rings true here; the pastel colours and pseudo-enigmatic photo badly representing the taught, addictive and emotive story held within. The characters of Paul Webster, his doomed romance with the almost (crucial, that) unlikeable Sheila and their daughter Rowan are recognisable ...more
Aug 21, 2011 Ms.pegasus rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anita Shreve fans
Shelves: fiction
There are brief moments of perfect balance in life. Looking at your sleeping children, nestled with your spouse, having a beer with your friends.... You wish you could freeze that perfectly ordinary, perfect safe moment of contentment forever. But life moves on. We make choices, relationships change, and mortality moves from the abstract to the concrete.

RESCUE moves in and out of such moments. It opens with a rural Vermont EMT and his daughter, a high school senior, at breakfast. The EMT is Web
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have loved most of Ms. Shreve's books. I was so looking forward to this one. Can I be honest? I thought it read like a Harlequin. (O.K., i've only read 1 Harlequin for a Book Club experiment.) The entire story was just so corny. Most of Shreve's books have an edge to them that keeps me intrigued. This one was so different. For instance, Webster is a young 21 year old EMT. He responds to an accident where the victim, a young women is unconsious and has a metal something stuck in her stomach and ...more
I really enjoyed this book. I read it about a year ago on a long plane ride. I remember because I continued reading it even as we got off the plane, constantly running into people as I tried my best to read every word as fast as I could. My mom had to wrench it out of my hands and put it into her backpack, and you can bet that it was what I asked for first when we got to the hotel.

I loved the plot, the idea, the fact that I could be both the daring and sexy Sheila and the calm and collected Web
I liked this book. I enjoyed that it was down to earth and focused on some of life's real issues. Believe it or not, there are not actually demons, vampire and witches taking over the unsuspecting humans. ;) Even though I do enjoy those books as well.
Webster, an EMT, meets Sheila at the scene of an accident due to her drinking and driving. For some inexplicable reason, he tracks her down and gets to know her better. Shortly after this, she gets pregnant with their daughter, Rowan. While he tries to make a good life for them, Sheila begins drinking again and leads them all on a downward spiral. Webster makes the decision to ban Sheila from their lives and raises Rowan on his own. When his daughter starts to act differently, get bad grades and ...more
Peter Webster, a young EMT trainee, rescues a woman from a terrible car accident. Sheila Arsenault is young and beautiful and troubled. She is running away from her problems and was drunk when she crashed her car.

Peter was instantly attracted to Sheila. He visited her after the accident to see if she was alright and even though he knew it was probably not something he should do he continued to see her. It wasn’t long before they became involved in a passionate love affair and Sheila became pregn
I liked this book. Anita Shreve writes thoughtful and thought-provoking books, and Rescue is no exception. The premise: Peter Webster is a rookie paramedic in a small town in Vermont where he is called to the scene of an accident. A woman, escaping from an abusive relationship in another state has totaled her car and is injured, although not seriously. After the rescue, Webster is drawn to the woman, Sheila, although she is quirky, aloof, and an alcoholic. A relationship develops and Sheila soon ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As Rescue begins, Peter Webster, a paramedic in Vermont, is living with his seventeen year old daughter Rowan. Webster, is concerned about his daughter, her grades are slipping, she's drinking, rebellious, angry and distant. She has not been accepted into the college of her choice, Middlebury. Webster is reminded of earlier days when he met Rowan's mother.

Eighteen years earlier when Webster was a new EMT, one of his first assignments was responding to a one-car accident involving a young woman,
Mary (BookHounds)
Anita Shreve's stories are deceptively simple and this one is no different. Her words will suck you in and you won't realize what you have read until after you have finished it. In the end, you will reflect on her novels and always remember them, questioning the actions of her characters. Did they do the right thing? And of course, like life itself, there is no easy answer. My book group always chooses her novels since they always spark intense discussion.

Her new novel, Rescue, is a cautionary t
While Anita Shreve is usually an author I can count on, I was not a fan of this book. Part of it may have been that I listened to this book on CD and wasn't thrilled with the reader. His voice and intonations were all wrong-- and his inability to pull of a Boston accent made some of the dialogue tough to listen to.

But aside from the narrator, I just didn't love the story. It followed the life of a young EMT, who falls in love with a beautiful young woman he meets on an accident scene one night.
Rescue is a book about a man named Webster and his life as an EMT. The beginning is in the present with him and his 17 year old daughter. The second part is 18 year earlier. This is when you learn all about how Webster became a father.

Webster is an EMT and him and his partner get a call. The call is for a single automobile accident. The woman involved in the accident is drunk and Webster is drawn to her. He thinks about her and follows up on how she is after the incident. The woman is named Shei
Michele Harrod
Anita Shreve was once in my list of top 10 writers. I'm beginning to suspect that she decided to retire after Testimony, and sold her name to someone else (smart move, but appalling for us!). She has seriously gone from 'great author' to Mills and Boons fodder producer. Altitude was so far off her usual mark, that I was literally gagging by the end of it, but I figured we are all entitled to a second chance. As for Rescue - all I can say as I kept hoping someone would come and rescue me from the ...more
Anita Shreve specializes in novels about families under pressure. Themes of love and loss, momentary incidents that change lives forever, and broken promises thread through all her novels, and Rescue is no exception. Peter Webster is a helper, a man who is driven to rescue others, and what better occupation for that than EMT? As a young man, he falls in love with the victim of a car accident, and while he and Sheila could not be more different, they marry and have a child, a daughter named Rowan ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
books by Anita Shreve 41 83 Mar 03, 2014 11:19PM  
Relationship 1 9 Aug 24, 2013 10:08AM  
  • Alexandra, Gone
  • The Swimming Pool
  • Chosen
  • Heartwood
  • Losing Charlotte
  • The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners (Newport, Rhode Island, #2)
  • Real Life & Liars
  • Trust
  • His Other Wife
  • After You
  • Lying With the Dead
  • Pictures of You
  • The Wishing Trees
  • The Ocean Inside
  • Neighborhood Watch
  • Heat Wave
  • Long Drive Home
  • Stiltsville
Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O'Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). A ...more
More about Anita Shreve...
The Pilot's Wife Fortune's Rocks Light on Snow Testimony The Weight of Water

Share This Book

“Voltage crossed the distance between Sheila and Webster. A current composed of anger and remorse and something else-the last flicker of attraction” 3 likes
“Webster, as if he's done it every day of his life, as if he did it just the day before, trails his fingers from the small of Sheila's back to the nape of her neck.

Sheila turns her head, "Go slowly and be careful," she says.”
More quotes…