Rescue: A Novel

Rescue: A Novel - Anita Shreve, Dennis Holland 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 Rowan and the driver of the other car are injured. Peter tells Sheila to leave and she does, with charges against her for drunk driving and the injuries.Peter raises Rowan by himself and all goes well until her senior year in high school. Rowan begins drinking and is on the brink of going in the same direction as her mother when Peter seeks out Sheila to come help her daughter.This is a curious story where the premise seems to be that Peter has a rescue complex, or at least that's what the author is attempting to posit. I don't ever feel that case is built by the story...Peter just seems to be desperately in love with a woman who is looking to be rescued. Throughout, Peter seems to be the one making the tough decisions, sacrificing a lot to raise his daughter as a single parent. I couldn't find a redeeming quality for Sheila and that's because the author failed to provide any texture for her character.It's an interesting story but one that left me perplexed. I didn't understand the point and it is quite melancholy.