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3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  11,857 Ratings  ·  1,622 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2010)
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Dec 01, 2010 Nancy rated it it was ok
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
Peter Webster is a rookie paramedic when he pulls a young woman, Sheila Arsenault, from her totaled car. She's obviously inebriated but Peter falls for her instantly. Soon they are involved in an intense love affair and Sheila becomes pregnant. They marry and baby Rowan is born. All along, Peter was aware that Sheila never really stopped drinking. But, when Rowan is two, Peter is called to the scene of an accident involving Sheila and another driver. She was driving under the influence and both ...more
Jul 10, 2011 Georgina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 24, 2011 Cheryl rated it it was ok
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
Jul 03, 2012 Lee Anne rated it it was ok
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
Jan 29, 2012 Darci rated it did not like it
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
Mary Gramlich
Nov 25, 2010 Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing
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.

Dec 02, 2010 Barbara rated it liked it
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
Nov 15, 2010 Julia rated it did not like it
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
Elizabeth Sulzby
Dec 06, 2010 Elizabeth Sulzby rated it it was ok
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
Feb 22, 2011 CC rated it it was ok
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
Aug 21, 2011 Ms.pegasus rated it liked it
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
Jan 02, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 07, 2012 Karah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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.
Jul 04, 2011 Kaci rated it liked it
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
Marcy Peskin-Larkin
Jul 11, 2011 Marcy Peskin-Larkin rated it really liked it
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
Jul 26, 2011 Daniel Parsons rated it really liked it
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
Jul 12, 2011 Leigh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the first book by Shreve I've read in a few years, after being disappointed by a book or two. This one had the story-telling and writing I like and expect from her, and the complex relationships that happen in families. It also gave a good picture of life as an EMT. From reading the cover flap, I knew that a mother who'd abandoned her child and husband would come back, but just how that abandonment occurred, and what caused the contact after 15 years, was much more dramatic than I'd anti ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Ann rated it it was ok
2.5 as enjoyed the descriptions of EMT and ER scenes. Hadn't read any of Shreve's works since "The Pilot's Wife", saw this book by her and picked it up solely on the basis of who wrote it. Must say it kept me a trifle more than mildly entertained, mostly because of it's medical content and my admiration for the EMT and his loyalty to his daughter who he raised as a single dad. Overall, neither the story nor the characters were very memorable.
Aug 05, 2012 Rachael rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 28, 2010 Leslie rated it really liked it
Shelves: womens-fiction
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
Nov 06, 2010 Diane rated it liked it
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,
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
May 16, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2012 Jill rated it liked it
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
Mary (BookHounds)
Nov 15, 2010 Mary (BookHounds) rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 14, 2014 Carter rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 08, 2011 Linda added it
Shelves: mod-lit
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
Apr 28, 2011 Diane rated it it was ok
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
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #133 Rescue by Anita Shreve 1 1 Jul 27, 2015 07:38AM  
books by Anita Shreve 41 87 Mar 03, 2014 11:19PM  
Relationship 1 10 Aug 24, 2013 10:08AM  
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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
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“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.”
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