Desert Isle Keeper Review

The Rescue
(This DIK review was written by a reader)

Nicholas Sparks
2001 reissue of 2000 release, Fiction
Warner, $7.50, 432 pages, Amazon ASIN 0446610399

Grade: A
Sensuality: Warm

Out of frustration that such a wonderful novel would slip through the cracks and not be read by a large population of romance readers, I took the suggestion of Robin, LLB and Patricia S. and here I am, writing a review. Am I nervous? You betcha, but here goes.

It is true that up until this book, Nicholas Sparks has not written one with the typical HEA that we as romance readers expect to see, and this, I believe has left romance readers and reviewers alike unsatisfied with Mr. Sparks' previous books. Message in a Bottle and A Walk To Remember were accounts of love, but were not really romances. Plus they lacked the definite HEA that we romance readers want in our books. This is why I felt that The Rescue needed rescuing, so to speak, and a voice to convey its very essence. The Rescue is the embodiment of a simply written book with an HEA. Plus it has a story that evoked sensations that I have not felt while reading a book in a long time.

Certainly, I can't remember ever reading a romance written by a man from the male point of view. That said, let me tell you why I was so impressed with The Rescue. If I had tell you in only one sentence, it is becase the characters in the book were so well defined and developed that I often find myself thinking about them at the oddest times.

Denise Holden, a teacher in Atlanta, had a one night rendezvous with an attractive man from out of town that changed her very essence. After informing the father-to-be, that she is pregnant, he rejects any desire to know of or about the child. Denise gives birth to a son who is born with a very rare speech disorder. Alone and the mother of a very needy child, she does what she believes is best for her and her son, Kyle, and moves to the small town of Edenton N.C. to live in the house where her now deceased mother grew up. She does this for the obvious reason that the house is financially unencumbered and she is able to devote constant attention to her handicapped child.

During the day Denise works with Kyle and in the evenings she works as a waitress at the local diner, where her son has a small room and bed in the back to sleep on while she works. Denise is quite ordinary in the sense of her education and career, yet when it is demanded of her, she steps into the role of so many single mothers and becomes extraordinary in her selfless giving to her child.

When Denise and Kyle are in an accident on a wet, stormy night, her life takes an unexpected turn. While she is unconcious for a matter of minutes, her son disappears in the swampy lowlands. Denise comes awake to the voice of a good Samaritan, a volunteer fireman, Taylor McAden. When she realizes her son is no longer in the back seat, the fear that any mother of a young child would have is intensified, especially when she tells the search team her son cannot answer their calls. Taylor McAden, an ordinary man who dares extraordinary feats of rescue finds Kyle. Through Kyle and Taylor's relationship, Denise and Taylor become attracted to each other and take the step toward a relationship.

As in most relationships there are bumpy roads ahead. Yet, in the case of Taylor and Denise, there are circumstances that hinder and tug at the relationship, until it appears there is no longer a relationship. When tragedy strikes and Taylor has to come to grips with a childhood prank that turned into a disaster, only then can he overcome his irrational fears and make the commitment to the woman and child he has grown to love.

As well as the three primary characters, Mr. Sparks has woven in an outstanding supporting cast of characters. The Rescue is tender, humorous, and emotionally charged. It takes you through the lowest and highest peaks of human emotion. And yet, what I truly loved the most about this book is that it was written by a man from a man's point of view. I dare you to read The Rescue and see for yourselves why, when when you are standing in the line of a convenience store, Denise and Kyle will come to mind. Or when you sit in the stands of a local baseball game Taylor and Denise will come to mind. And when you drive down the road on a wet and windy night, you remember in a flash a small part of this book. These characters come to life vividly and stay with you long after the book is finished. And, because it has a happy ending, you feel the pleasure of a smile that warms you from head to toe, as you turn the last page.

-- Lisbeth-Ann Fitzgerald

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