Rescue by Anita Shreve

Title:  Rescue

Author: Anita Shreve

Narrator:  Dennis Holland

Genre:  Fiction

Peter Webster rescues people for a living. One night he helps to save a woman involved in a car crash. Later he can’t stop thinking about her so,despite all obvious signs that she is trouble, he pursues a relationship with her. When Sheila tells him she’s pregnant with his baby he marries her. For a while it seems he really has saved her but then Sheila starts to fall back to old habits and becomes a danger to herself and their child. Flash forward several years: Rowan is seventeen and acting out. History seems to be repeating itself. Webster is afraid his daughter is becoming just like her mother. Will he be able to rescue Rowan?

Rescue would make a good book club selection because of  the discussion possibilities: Can people who don’t ask for help be saved when it seems they desperately need it? What might the ramifications be? Shreve works through those questions with her characters. While it’s not my favorite by the author I found it thought-provoking. I listened to the audiobook ably narrated by Dennis Holland.

Source:  My local library

Testimony by Anita Shreve

Testimony by Anita Shreve: Book Cover

Book flap: At Avery Academy, A prestigious New England boarding school, the headmaster finds himself in possession of a videotape — a disaster in a small package. More shocking than the sexual acts recorded on the tape are the ages of the students. One girl is just fourteen.
A Pandora’s box, the tape unleashes a storm of shame and recrimination throughout the small community. The men, women, and teenagers involved speak out to relate the events of that night and their aftermath. Mike Bordwin, the headmaster, struggles to contain the scandal before it destroys the school. Silas Quinnery, a well-liked local boy, grapples with the tremendous consequences of his mistakes. Anna, his mother, confronts her own forbidden temptations. And Sienna, an enigmatic and troubled young woman, tries to put her past behind her.
For all the tape reveals, it provokes more questions than it answers. How did this happen? Who is to blame? And will the mistakes of one foolish moment ruin the futures of everyone involved? As the chorus of voices rises to the crescendo, it reveals the surprising truth of what occurred that night, and how the lives touched by these events will be forever transformed.
Wow. I began reading Testimony in the morning and only took small breaks for the rest of the day. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t expect that, especially after the first ‘testimony’ describing the event. But, being a parent of three who are now all in their 20s, I completely bought into the book. I know this could happen!

I like how Shreve unfolds the story – through the eyes of everyone involved. I think she nailed the students’ voices. And I think she gives an accurate portrayal of today’s news media, sad to say.

To say I enjoyed the book would be wrong. I was taken in by the compelling, honest, and gripping story.
Thanks to Miriam at Hachette Book Group for sending me this book.