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3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Webster, a young trainee paramedic, is called out one evening to help rescue a young woman from the car she has wrecked and, when he sees the victim, he finds her enticingly attractive with her glossy chestnut hair and her slender, long limbs. The young woman is called Sheila; she is unconscious, has been drinking heavily and is lucky to be alive. Sheila is rushed to hospital and this should be the end of the matter for Webster; however, he is very attracted to the beautiful young woman and, although he has been advised against contacting Sheila, he cannot resist visiting her. And so starts the love affair between a naïve young man and a woman who, although still young, already has a difficult and fairly tumultuous past life behind her, including a relationship with an abusive lover and a significant problem with alcohol. When Sheila falls pregnant shortly after she and Webster start seeing each other, Webster proposes marriage and Sheila, keen to settle with someone she can rely on, quickly accepts his offer. At first, the two of them appear to be happy and Sheila tries hard to reduce her alcohol intake; however after the birth of their daughter, Rowan, Sheila finds she needs a drink or two to help her to cope. And then one day, after drinking heavily, she gets into her car with Rowan in her child seat and drives off...

(No spoilers here, we learn most of this early on in the novel and there is a lot more for prospective readers to discover).

This was an entertaining read and, if you are interested in emergency medical procedures, you will find this a very interesting read also. I must admit that I could have done with a little less information about Webster's work and would have preferred Anita Shreve to have spent a little more time exploring her character's motivations, especially as I found Sheila an interesting protagonist and would have appreciated learning more about her and her problems; I would also have liked to have discovered more about what happened to her after her second accident - but I cannot explain further without revealing spoilers. That said, I found this compassionately told domestic drama an absorbing and interesting story, and although I would not regard it as one of Shreve's best, it is certainly worth a read.

3 Stars.
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on 16 August 2017
of love between two people for each other, despite their differences and the difficulties of sticking together through the not uncommon situations we can all come across. The writing is easy and uncomplicated. I loved it.
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on 10 October 2015
Love her books. Some find them too sad, but i find her a beilliant , descriptive writer who draws you in to yer stories
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on 9 July 2017
Not as good as her other books ,though enjoyed it . Good research on part of author Anita Shreeve. Ok
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on 9 May 2011

Anita Shreve's long awaited new novel doesn't disappoint, in fact you fall straight into the drama around the main character who is a paramedic. It seemed to me to be a novel of missed opportunities. Long dreamed of goals having to be shelved because of a chance meeting, albeit dramatic, with someone you fall in love with. What else is there to do but take that turn in your life and see what happens? When Webster and Sheila have a child, Webster knows that his dreams must be shelved and pours himself into his new little family. Alcoholism bangs on the door and demands admission to unravel their new life. It's sad but you expect that but it's brilliant and compelling and a must read.
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on 22 February 2011
I love Anita Shreve`s writing and I have become so engrossed with some of her books,I simply cannot put them down and I feel like the characters are real. Body Surfing, The Pilot`s Wife and Light on Snow are three of my favourites and so it was with huge anticipation that I purchased her latest book, Rescue, for my Kindle.

I was disappointed, the story is rather shallow, the characters` lives are not really explored or developed out in great depth so I wasn`t really all that interested in why it was that one man fell for one woman following a car crash since she wasn`t an especially pleasant woman anyway! I would have liked to understand much more about why the love affair blossomed, I would have liked to know why the woman had developed her problems with alchohol. When I finished the book I didn`t really know if the characters would in any sense be a family once more, I was just left with a sort of, "and?"

I hope that Anita Shreve hasn`t run out of ideas. This book seemed formulaic to me and too short for the price. Picky I know, but it isn`t a big novel and in my view, not one which is up to the author`s usual excellent standards.
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I feel as if I have been enjoying Anita Shreve forever. It all started with `The Pilots Wife', which was certainly excitingly innovative and appealing at the time. Very much a recommended author amongst friends.

Now I am surfacing from the world of `Rescue' and I wonder if it is just being too used to the plot devices or maybe my mood but this one came across as a bit of a grind. The interesting hook, that `Webster', who is known only by his surname; works as a Paramedic, did add a frisson of thrill and education to the story. Setting the scene in the electric atmosphere of first on the scene medical drama worked until the inevitable cliché ridden showdown, which seemed almost lazy writing.

Teenage daughter Rowan was well written, her behaviour was pitch perfect for the emerging from her chrysalis stage in life.

I just didn't get sucked in as I would have hoped; there are characters you can take to, in my case the older parents faced with the challenge of an unlikely daughter in law and unexpected upheavals. Webster's co-workers came to life a little but it all felt a bit flat and not as effective as others I have read by Anita Shreve.

Perhaps that was because this contains and addresses quite a dispiriting subject. There is a heavy-hearted undercurrent of quiet despair. The reader is `rescued' neatly by the finale. Good but not great reading.
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on 26 June 2011
I have read every Anita Shreve book. What originally drew me to her writing was the way in which she could make New England such a spell-binding place. Also Anita's characters were not only easy to imagine but they fitted into their environment.

This book was a good read, and told a good but inevitable story; very typical, maybe unfair but I would imagine (not that I read the!), more Mills and Boon without the sex! Disappointingly it did not have the depth of her other novels, and certainly very little to give a good picture of the setting of the novel.

Having said that I read it through over a long weekend!
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on 16 June 2011
I didn't really enjoy this book at all and I've read pretty much all of her books and loved a lot of them. It just seemed a bit lame with cliched characters who I couldn't really care about. Was glad to finish it and get on with reading something more engrossing.
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on 22 May 2011
This is a lovely book that tells the incredible true story of the world's largest penguin rescue, if not the world's largest animal rescue ever. The author writes about the events and story of the 'treasure' oil spill, a boat carrying oil that sunk within nearby reach of 2 important African Penguin colonies off the west coast of South Africa. These already rare and vulnerable birds were faced with this lethal oil spill in the year 2000 and 40,000 had to be rescued, 20,000 odd of which had to be relocated away from the oil and 19,500 had to be cleaned after being covered in oil. The main bulk of this story is about the rescue of the 19,500 birds that needed cleaning of oil and their rehabilitation, as well as the rehabilitation of some penguin chicks that were also rescued. The author at the time of the penguin rescue was a zookeeper in the US and looked after a captive African Penguin colony for years at the zoo. Upon the sinking of the 'treasure', penguin specialists / experts as well as hundreds of unskilled volunteers were called for help around the globe. The author and her collegue helped with the supervision of this rehabilitation for 2 weeks of the 3 month rescue, however she had since gone back to get the full story from others involved to write this book and tell the full story.

I recommend this book as it is about an important event in our recent history and enjoyable to read, I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 though as it was quite repetitive in parts of the book and the author's writing style came across as slightly amateur. Would have ideally have been written by the lady who organised this rescue from start to finish and runs a rescue centre in South Africa, but this is the only criticism in an otherwise lovely, but sobering, read.
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