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by Dorothy Canfield
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Denise Holden's life is a fragile mix of luck and hard work. A single mom of a speech-delayed son, Denise makes ends meet by moving to the small town of Edenton, North Carolina, and working the late shift as a waitress. When Denise crashes her car and her son Kyle flees the accident and disappears into the storm, her only stroke of luck is the quick arrival of Taylor McAden, a volunteer fireman. Taylor's got a knack for fixing people, and he can't help wanting to be involved with Denise beyond the initial rescue of Kyle.
As Taylor helps Denise recover from the accident and get to know the town, they discover a sweet bond and a magical chemistry that pulls them closer and closer. Though Taylor fits perfectly into Denise's family, he's unable to open his heart to being loved by her. As Taylor struggles to understand his conflicting desires, Denise questions the wisdom of gambling with Kyle's and her own emotions.
Author Nicholas Sparks has found a loyal audience for his stories about the internal battles that accompany the arrival of love. His heroes may be truck-driving manly men and his heroines emotional swamis, but it's easy to overlook the traditional roles when the complexities of human relationships are so beautifully described. Sparks has found his forte, and this novel is sure to be as popular as his earlier works. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien
From Publishers Weekly
Secret traumas again haunt Sparks's characters, in the author's fourth novel (after The Notebook; Message in a Bottle; A Walk to Remember). Denise Holden, the 29-year-old heroine, is destitute and forced to live in her mother's old house in Edenton, N.C. She's also the single mother of a handicapped child, Kyle, a four-year-old with "auditory processing problems" that render him unable to express himself or to fully understand others. Though she doesn't suspect it, Denise is on a literal collision course with true love. After she smashes her car into a tree and wakes up to discover Kyle missing, she finds deliverance in the form of Taylor McAden, dashing firefighter and compulsive risk taker, who rescues Kyle, too. Since Taylor enjoys an instant, unprecedented rapport with Kyle, there is little standing in the way of burgeoning romance. Trouble comes, however, when Denise learns of Taylor's checkered romantic past. Taylor's inability to commit, it seems, is somehow tied to his compulsive heroism, of which numerous histrionic examples are described. Denise's quest to find the source of Taylor's emotional distance takes up the final third of the book. The story here is mostly a pretext for the emotional assault that Sparks delivers, but when he manages to link affect to action, the result is cunningly crafted melodrama. These occasions are rare, though; more often Sparks gets bogged down in interminable interior monologue. 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. 1 million first printing; 24-city author tour. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Though detractors may say he writes "like a girl," the would-be king of romance (The Notebook) continues to please his readers. In Edenton, a small town on the North Carolina coast, Denise Holton struggles to raise her young son, Kyle, alone. Adding to her isolation is her time-consuming effort to combat Kyle's severe language-processing disability. As a result of a car accident during a storm, she meets Taylor McAden, a local contractor and volunteer fireman. Though Taylor seems to be meant for DeniseAhe evidently loves Kyle as wellAhe suffers from a classic case of "can't commit." But is it more than that? What's behind the fa?ade of this charming rescuer? Taylor comes close to losing what he most desires as he finally confronts his secret demons. This novel will appeal to female readers seeking another romantic story with a happy ending.ARebecca Sturm Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Taylor McAddon rescues a single mother and her small child after a one-car accident during a raging North Carolina storm. But in the end it's she who rescues Taylor from the demons that have possessed him since the death of his own father years before. Mary Beth Hurt and John Belford Lloyd alternate segments of the story, with their parts set off by passages of folk guitar music. Hurt's Taylor is somewhat muddy, but she nails Denise and her small son, Kyle, offering a sensitive portrayal of the young mother and her challenged child. Lloyd presents a much more convincing Taylor, right up to the sobbing scene near the end, during which he sounds embarrassed by the syrupy text. The package comes across as good entertainment, predictability of plot notwithstanding. R.P.L. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
Sparks has carved out a niche for himself as one of the top male authors of romantic melodrama. Taylor McAden is a contractor by profession, but his passion is his work as a volunteer firefighter in the small town of Edenton, North Carolina. Driven by his unarticulated feelings about his father's death, he's always ready to help and prides himself on taking risks that no other man would take. At 36, Taylor has always shied away from relationships, but he finds it hard to distance himself from Denise Holden and her learning-disabled son, Kyle, whom he helps rescue from a car accident. Denise has come to Edenton because she inherited a house from her late grandparents and needs to live rent-free so she can devote herself to Kyle. Struggling to make ends meet as a single mom, she is surprised to find herself attracted to a man like Taylor, who is so different from the educated men she met when she lived and worked in Atlanta as a teacher. As Denise watches Taylor treat Kyle as he would a normal child, she realizes that he truly is special and opens her heart to him. When their relationship becomes serious, however, Taylor pulls away, but when tragedy once again enters his life, Denise is the one he wants most. All of Sparks' trademark elements--love, loss, and small-town life--are present in this terrific summer read. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From 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.That vestige involves the deep dark secret-it has something to do with his father's death when son Taylor was nine-that haunts kind, good 36-year-old local contractor Taylor McAden and makes him withdraw from relationships whenever they start getting serious enough to maybe get permanent. He's done this twice before, and now he does it again with pretty and sweet single mother Denise Holton, age 29, who's moved from Atlanta to Taylor's town of Edenton, North Carolina, in order to devote her time more fully to training her four-year-old son Kyle to overcome the peculiar impediment he has that keeps him from achieving normal language acquisition. Okay? When Denise has a car accident in a bad storm, she's rescued by volunteer fireman Taylor-who also rescues little Kyle after he wanders away from his injured mom in the storm. Love blooms in the weeks that follow-until Taylor suddenly begins putting on the brakes. What is it that holds him back, when there just isn't any question but that he loves Denise and vice versa-not to mention that he's "great" with Kyle, just like a father? It will require a couple of near-death experiences (as fireman Taylor bravely risks his life to save others); emotional steadiness from the intelligent, good, true Denise; and the terrible death of a dear and devoted friend before Taylor will come to the point at last of confiding to Denise the terrible memory of how his father died-and the guilt that's been its legacy to Taylor. The psychological dam broken, love will at last be able to flow.More Hallmarkiana, from a shameless expert in the genre. -- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Taylor McAden is a volunteer fireman who is always the first to plunge into danger. But there is one risk he cant seem to take: falling in love. Until he meets Denise Holden, a single mother who has moved to the small town of Edenton, North Carolina, to build a new life. A near fatal car crash will bring these two together, but before that can happen, Taylor must first look into his past and see if its not too late to take a chance on the future. A New York Times bestseller for 17 weeks, A Walk to Remember (Warner, 10/99) has over 900,000 copies in print. Film rights to A Walk to Remember were sold to producer Denise DiNovi (Message in a Bottle, Practical Magic) at Warner Bros. A New York Times bestseller for 29 weeks, Message in a Bottle (Warner, 1998) has nearly 700,000 copies in print and was a major motion picture starring Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn, and Paul Newman. The Notebook (Warner, 1996), a New York Times hardcover bestseller for 56 weeks and a paperback bestseller for 52 weeks, has nearly three million copies in combined print. The soon-to-be-released movie is directed by Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father) and stars Ashley Judd (Double Jeopardy).
One of America's bestselling authors returns with a tale about the greatest commitment of all: loving someone forever. When a near-fatal car crash brings Taylor McAden together with Denise Holden, a new resident of Edenton, North Carolina, he must look into his past to see if it's not too late to take a chance on the future.
From the Publisher
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Inside Flap Copy
From one of America's most beloved-and bestselling-storytellers, here is a novel about a man and a woman trying to find courage to make the biggest commitment of all...to love someone forever.
Taylor McAden was a risk taker. A volunteer firemn in the small southern town where he had lived his entire life, he was the first to take the plunge into a burning house to resue someone, the first to put his own safety on the line. However, there was one risk that Taylor seemed unable to take, and that was to let any woman into his heart. Then he met Denise Holden.
The single mother of a little boy with severe disabilities, Denise had moved from Atlanta to the small town of Edenton, North Carolina where her grandparents had left her a house. She came to Edenton in an attempt to make ends meet while devoting herself to the care of her child. Falling in love was the last thing she intended.
A near fatal car crash brings Denise and Taylor together, and awakens in them felings long dormant. But before Taylor can fully welcome Denise and Kyle into his life, he must first take the ultimate risk-to look into his heart and his past, and see if it's not too late to take a chance on the future.
About the Author
The Rescue is Nicholas Sparks' fourth novel. He is the co-author of Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Understanding, and the bestselling author of The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, and A Walk to Remember. Sparks lives in North Carolina with his wife and three sons.
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