Summary and book reviews of The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

The Rescue

by Nicholas Sparks

The Rescue
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2000, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2001, 400 pages

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Book Summary

When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer fireman Taylor McAden feels compelled to take terrifying risks; but there is one leap of faith Taylor can't bring himself to make: He can't fall in love.

BookPage calls Nicholas Sparks, "a modern master of fateful love stories," and his phenomenal bestsellers- The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, and A Walk to Remember- have made him one of America's most beloved storytellers. Here, in his newest work, Sparks tells a story about making the greatest commitment of all...loving someone forever.

The Rescue

When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer fireman Taylor McAden feels compelled to take terrifying risks - risks no one else in the department would ever take - to save lives. But there is one leap of faith Taylor can't bring himself to make: He can't fall in love. For all his adult years, Taylor has sought out women who need to be rescued, women he leaves as soon as their crisis is over, as soon as the relationship starts to become truly intimate.

Then, one day, a raging, record-breaking storm hits his small Southern town. Denise Holton, a young single mother, is driving through it when her car skids off the road. With her is her four-year-old son, Kyle, a boy with severe learning disabilities and for whom she has sacrificed everything. Unconscious and bleeding, she-but not Kyle-will be found by Taylor McAden. And when she wakes, the chilling truth becomes clear to both of them: Kyle is gone.

During the search for Kyle, the connection, the lifeline, between Taylor and Denise takes root. Taylor doesn't know that this rescue will be different from all the others, demanding far more than raw physical courage. That it will lead him to the possibility of his own rescue from a life lived without love. That it will require him to open doors to his past that were slammed shut by pain. That it will dare him to live life to the fullest by daring to love.

In The Rescue Nicholas Sparks weaves his inimitable spell, immersing us in the passions and the surprising complexities of modern relationships-and in doing so, teaching us something about our own.

Rescue
Chapter 1

Why had this happened? Why, of all the children, was Kyle the one?

Back in the car after stopping for gas, Denise hit the highway again, staying ahead of the storm. For the next twenty minutes rain fell steadily but not ominously, and she watched the wipers push the water back and forth while she made her way back to Edenton, North Carolina. Her Diet Coke sat between the emergency brake and the driver's seat, and though she knew it wasn't good for her, she finished the last of it and immediately wished she'd bought another. The extra caffeine, she hoped, would keep her alert and focused on the drive, instead of on Kyle. But Kyle was always there.

Kyle. What could she say? He'd once been part of her, she'd heard his heart beating at twelve weeks, she'd felt his movements within her the last five months of her pregnancy. After his birth, while still in the delivery room, she took one look at him and couldn't believe there was ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Edenton is the setting for the novel. How does this setting help the relationship between Taylor and Denise? How does it hinder it? Would their relationship have been possible in a larger city? What is the symbolic meaning behind the name of the town? What role does this symbolic meaning play in the relationship between Taylor and Denise?

  2. In the beginning of the novel, Denise has given up nearly everything in her life to take care of her son. Is this realistic? Would this have been more or less likely in the past? Does she work with Kyle simply because she loves him or are there other forces involved? How does the fact that Kyle was the result of a one-night-stand affect her reasoning?

  3. Because of ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

High-stakes weepmeister Sparks (A Walk to Remember, 1999, etc.) opts for a happy ending his fourth time out. His writing has improved-though it's still the equivalent of paint-by-numbers-and he makes use this time of at least a vestige of credible psychology.

Library Journal

Though detractors may say he writes "like a girl," the would-be king of romance continues to please his readers.... This novel will appeal to female readers seeking another romantic story with a happy ending.

Publishers Weekly

Because these characters are preordained lovers, their feelings prescribed by fiction conventions, their psychology amounts to little more than a profusion of banality. Yet Sparks's narrative acquires immediacy when his characters' exaggerated emotions compel immoderate actions, and his readers will surely delight at these moments of heightened expressiveness.

Reader Reviews

Kristen

Glued to your hands
As goal oriented as I am, I'm not the kind of person that would take a whole entire day to read a book. To be honest, besides school I never once read more than 100 pages in a day...to my surprise (and my family's) I never dropped the book. As I was ...   Read More

Audrey

The Rescue - Heartwarming Book
I too read this book in two days. I absolutely loved it, and identified with all the aspects of their relationship - the falling in love, the heartbreak. Also the relationship between Kyle the young boy and his mum made me cry. Thoroughly ...   Read More

Claire

Amazing!
This book is so heartwrenching. It is one of Sparks' best. I cried, laughed and smiled throughout the entire text. I could not put it down. Read this and all Nicholas Sparks books.

juicebox

The Rescue
One of Sparks' best. I love this book! :)

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