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From Barnes & NobleOur Review
Nicholas Sparks's latest tale of romantic angst, The Rescue, has all of his trademark elements: characters who are part of the walking wounded, the fresh hope of new love, and the crushing force of unexpected tragedy. But this time out, Sparks opts for a happier ending, though not before wringing as many tears from his readers as he can. Those tears, along with the myriad other emotional strings tugged by Sparks, are all the more apparent in the audio version, where the remarkable reading talents of two Broadway stars, Mary Beth Hurt and John Belford Lloyd, come into play.
Denise Holton is the single mother of a four-year-old boy named Kyle, who has a problem processing and creating speech. Financially pressed, she moves to the small town of Edenton, North Carolina, where she can live rent free in the house her recently deceased mother once owned. Hoping for a calmer life, Denise gets off to a bad start when she has a car accident in the midst of a raging thunderstorm. Knocked unconscious, she comes to to find that help has arrived in the form of a handsome fireman named Taylor McAden. But her relief quickly vanishes when she discovers that Kyle has wandered off from the wrecked car.
Taylor heads up an hours-long search for the boy and is the one who eventually finds him. The two bond quickly, and things start to click between Denise and Taylor as well. But just as their romance is getting serious, Taylor starts to back off. Hurt and confused, Denise learns that he has done the same thing in two previous relationships, and that the reason for his behavior is somehow tied to the death of his father many years ago -- as is his tendency to take life-endangering risks in his role as a fireman. Only a new tragedy can make Taylor confront the demons from his past and begin to heal.
The Rescue is a powder keg of emotional currents and tension-filled moments as Sparks delves deeply into the psyche of his characters, revealing them one intriguing layer at a time. This process is greatly aided by readers Hurt and Lloyd, who bring the characters to vivid life. Of particular note is Lloyd's reading of the moment when Taylor reveals the horrible secret regarding his father's death. This one will leave even the most stalwart readers fighting back tears.