• Rescue by Anita Shreve

      "911. What's your emergency?" If it were only possible to solve life's problems with a simple phone call, Pete Webster and his daughter Rowan might have avoided 15 years of hurt and loss. Pete Webster was just finishing his EMT training in a small town in Vermont when he was called to the scene of an accident that changed his life forever. At 21 one years old, his life was normal and predictable. He planned to be an EMT, meet a nice girl, marry and have a family. Normal flies through the windshield when he makes the mistake of falling in love with the young woman he rescues from a drunk-driving car crash.

      Despite her alcohol addiction, Webster finds Sheila irresistible, and when she announces that she's pregnant, he begs her to marry him. The young couple struggles financially and emotionally as they begin to build a happy family with their daughter, Rowan. Sheila stops drinking during her pregnancy, but she gradually returns to her old habit and has an accident with 2 year old Rowan in the car. Realizing that his wife is an alcoholic and that she almost killed their daughter, Webster has no choice but to send Sheila away. He becomes both father and mother to Rowan and for the next 15 years, the two live a quiet, but seemingly happy life together. However, Rowan's behavior begins to mimic her mother's and when a tragic accident puts his daughter in mortal danger, Webster is forced to reconnect with the woman he banished.

      Anita Shreve is a master storyteller who captures the listener's attention and holds it, spinning an engrossing tale, while describing ordinary people dealing with mundane situations. In another author's hands, Webster might come off as boring, but Shreve infuses him with such poignant feelings and reflections, that he moves through the pages like a superhero in a humble man's body. Dennis Holland's narration effectively expresses the confusion and passion, and, ultimately, the disgust, anguish and resolve that Webster experiences as he deals with the impact Sheila has made on his life.

      Rescue is a testament to the power of love--whether to destroy or to restore. It also shows how the minor decisions we make each day can result in life-changing situations for us and the people who love us. Anita Shreve's characters quietly and gently engage us in their everyday pursuits, but instead of becoming forgettable, their power and inspiration linger long after the audio book ends. This is an excellent audio book for introspection as well as for entertainment.

      Rescue by Anita Shreve
      Read by Dennis Holland
      Hachette Audio, unabridged: 7.5 hours