Rescue: A Novel
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Peter Webster is a rookie paramedic when he pulls a young woman out of a car wreck that should have killed her. Sheila Arsenault haunts his thoughts, and despite his misgivings Peter is soon embroiled in an intense love affair--and in Sheila's troubled world.
Eighteen years later, Sheila is long gone and Peter is raising their daughter, Rowan, alone. But Rowan is veering dangerously off course, and for the first time in their quiet life together Peter fears for her future. He seeks out the only person who may be able to help Rowan, although Sheila's return is sure to unleash all the questions he has carefully been keeping at bay: Why did a mother leave her family? How did the marriage of two people so deeply in love unravel?
A story about trespass and forgiveness, secrets and the seismic force of the truth, Rescue is a masterful portrayal of a family trying to understand its fractured past and begin again.
her car for her, and of course she hasn’t paid for anything.” Gina laughs. “I love the makeup.” “You wouldn’t if it was all over your sneakers,” Rowan points out. “I had to clean that up and pick up the tissues and the millions of pieces of glass.” “So,” Webster asks, “what are you two up to tonight?” “Gina’s over because her computer broke again,” Rowan says, “and she needs to get some notes and a take-home quiz off mine.” They both know this to be a white lie. Gina’s mother doesn’t have
gesture he hardly ever sees her make. Webster doesn’t want Rowan to go, but there’s nothing he can do. He aches to put his arms around her. Three months ago, he would have done it. He worries about car trouble, about her getting lost, about predators. But he can feel the shield she’s put up against him. “So,” she says. He wants to say, Don’t drink. He watches his daughter slide into the Corolla. He knows he’s making her nervous. He ought to move away, go back into the garden, but he feels as
procedures that await Rowan before the airlift. The Seven Ps. Prepare: get all the equipment ready, none of which Webster wants to think about. Preoxygenate for five minutes. Premedicate: 1.5 milligrams per kilogram of weight of lidocaine two minutes before intubation. Paralyze: the medics will paralyze Rowan for the duration of the trip to Burlington so that she won’t seize on them. The idea of his daughter being medically paralyzed makes Webster want to scream. Pass the tube. Proof of
get some sleep,” the nurse says. “I can’t order you to do it, but you know I’m right.” “I hate to leave her.” “This is the ICU. She’s being monitored every second.” The nurse smiles. “She’s out of the woods, Mr. Webster. I think you can start to relax now.” He stands immobile in the shower for twenty minutes, letting the hot water remove the kinks. Then he scrubs and washes his hair and slides between the covers. It’s nearly dawn when he shuts his eyes. It’s noon the same day when wakes up.
visit is likely to happen in the morning. Tommy and Gina are scheduled to come later in the day. Webster has to make this happen in the morning, if at all. “So how are you doing today?” Webster asks when he walks in the door. “Good,” she says. “They’re going to begin physical therapy for the shoulder, and they have to make sure I can walk a fair distance without losing my balance. I can’t risk falling on the shoulder.” Webster sits on the bed. He smiles. “You didn’t notice they washed my