The Rescue

By Nicholas Sparks

171,078 ratings - 4.11* vote

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 Rem When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer fireman Taylor McAden feels compelled

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Book details

Paperback, 352 pages
April 1st 2005 by Grand Central Publishing

(first published 2000)

Original Title
The Rescue
0446696129 (ISBN13: 9780446696128)
Edition Language

Community Reviews

Aj the Ravenous Reader

I used to see Mr. Nicholas Sparks as a guy who kills off his characters for sport. Like every time he writes a new story, I picture him rubbing the palm of his hands against each other while madly grinning and asking “Who I am going to kill this time? *insert evil laugh here*” Only after reading this particular novel of his did I learn how wrong I was. I learned that most of his stories’ premises are based from his real life experiences or about members of his family and I believe it takes true courage to share to the world something so painful and so personal.

I admit I was on full detective mode from page one already guessing which of the wonderful, perfectly kind characters will potentially die but despite that, the story touched my heart unexpectedly. It mostly has to do with the main theme of the story: a parent’s unconditional love for his/her child. It also helps a lot that there’s a cute four year old boy. They get me all the time-cute little kids in stories.^^

Just to be clear, Mr. Sparks’ standard formulaic ingredients are still there:

✽ Small town setting
✽ A simply beautiful female character who turns every man’s head in said small town
✽ An attractive male character who wears masculine work boots
✽ Tragic tone
✽ Slow start
✽ More than necessary writing details
✽ *Ahem* A love scene or two (or more)
✽ At least one death
✽ Heart-wrenching scenes/dialogues that’ll make you spill tears. (At least I found the perfect excuse to spill tears I have been trying to hold back since my wisdom tooth started growing)

BUT, I particularly adore the portrayal of the female character, Denise. Her strength as a woman and as a mother is just admirable. I’m sure every girl could pick up a thing or two from her. The conclusion is far more hopeful and lighter than I expected and if I would recommend anything from the author, I think this would be it.^^

Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

Mr Sparks, you sure know how to break my heart and burn my tear glands.

This book left me in tears from the very first chapter till the end. But it's the last two chapters that got me cry like no one could understand what I was going through while crying with the main characters. It was so heart breaking!

The story deals with a single mom, Denise, taking care of her 4 year old son, Kyle, who had some delayed learning disability which the doctors couldn't give a proper diagnosis.
Then there's volunteer fireman Taylor McAden who was putting himself in dangerous situations to save everyone he could.

Both Denise and Taylor had something they could not share with just anyone.

A small town story, a story of how different people have a fight going on everyday, a heart warming and a heartbreaking slow burn romance that left me baffled in the end.

I appreciate the whole family vibes, learning disability representation and how it was handled really well, PTSD, solid childhood friendship between Taylor and Mitch, Taylor's mother Judy being representative of a strong woman, small town vibes, deaths and grief being handled incredibly well.

The characters were very realistic and the story somehow felt so real to me. At times, I felt like the main characters were testing my patience but everything ended well well explained.

It will stay as a memorable read for me.

Ahmad Sharabiani

The Rescue, Nicholas Sparks
The Rescue is a novel written by the American author Nicholas Sparks, first published in 2000. 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. He was the person who found Denise’s son the night of her car wreck. Denise Holton has no family, both of her parents have died. She is alone and a single mother of a child with severe learning disabilities by a former one-night stand. She was a school teacher for many years but now she doesn’t teach anymore; she spends all her time trying to teach her son how to speak. She has a part-time job as a waitress and makes just enough money to get by. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش:
عنوان: ن‍ج‍ات‍م‌ ب‍ده‌؛ نویسنده: ن‍ی‍ک‍ولاس‌ اس‍پ‍ارک‍س‌؛ مت‍رج‍م: ن‍ف‍ی‍س‍ه‌ م‍ع‍ت‍ک‍ف؛ ت‍ه‍ران‌: ل‍ی‍وس‍ا‏‫، 1380؛ در 444؛ شابک: 9645634164؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی‬ - سده 21 م

نجاتم بده رمانی عاشقانه اتر «نیکلاس چارلز اسپارکس» نویسنده اهل ایالات متحده آمریکا است. «دنیس هولتون» مادری تنهاست که پسر چهار ساله‌ اش «کایل» نمیتواند بخوبی حرف بزند، او پس از زایمان به شهر مادری‌ خویش آمده، و در کافه‌ ای به عنوان پیشخدمت کار می‌کند. داستان با طوفان آغاز می‌شود و «دنیس» با پسرش «کایل» در بزرگراه، در حال رانندگی ست، که کنترل ماشین را از دست می‌دهد و تصادف می‌کند. «کایل» ناپدید می‌شود و تنها شانس «دنیس» رسیدن به موقع «تیلور»، یک آتش‌نشان است. و این آغاز آشنایی آن دو شخصیت داستان نیز هست. آنها به هم نزدیک و نزدیکتر می‌شوند، اما «تیلور» ناگهان پا پس می‌کشد، او نمیتواند عاشق شود. ولی او چیزی نمی‌گوید و «دنیس» می‌خواهد واقعیت را بداند...؛ ا. شربیانی

Rachel Maniacup

This is an emotional,heartwarming story of three impaired individuals starting with Denise Holden, a single mother who is struggling to raise her four year old son KYLE, a cute boy who suffers with delayed speech disorder(an auditory processing syndrome). And Taylor Mc Aden(the flawed hero,dealing with his demons),the volunteer firefighter who rescued Denise and Kyle in a heavy rain storm,when their car crashed on the edge of a swamp.

So far,I think this is the best novel I've read of Nicholas Sparks,because this book revolved around a little boy who needed special attention which the author had brilliantly crafted.He formulated a well-planned mother and son relationship that deeply touched my heart.He also did a great job portraying a mother's determination and dedication to help her son and for that,I gave this book a 5 star rating.

I should've deducted a star because I still didn't like the idea/style of the author taking away one important character in the story,but what can I do? But then,Sparks captured the essence of love,devotion and sacrifices in this book.Not to mention the fabulous secondary characters,particularly Mitch,Melissa,and Judy McAden. So I guess,these facts about this book is worth for the rating I gave.^^


Opening Line: "Why had this happened? Why, of all the children was Kyle the one?"

I first read THE RESCUE in 2002 and enjoyed it just as much this time with it's rediscovery. As soon as I opened the first page I was lost, reading continuously for the next 24 hours. Thinking to myself, damn that Nicholas Sparks' he's done it again, sucking me right back into one of the best love stories I've ever read.

Due to a horrific childhood trauma volunteer firefighter Taylor McAden is driven to take disturbing heroic risks while on the job, trying to somehow put his world right. He has few friends and all of his past relationships have resulted from rescuing troubled women in one way or another. All of whom he inevitably leaves as soon as they want more from him then he can give. It seems that there's just one leap Taylor can't make; that of allowing himself to fall in love.

Denise Holden is a single mother of a handicapped child. Due to a lack of finances she has been forced to move back to her mother's hometown and live in the inherited home. At the moment she's barely scraping by, her son Kyle taking up most of her time, energy and resources. Love is the last thing on Denise's mind as she drives home from her job at the local diner. As fate would have it though a terrible storm hit's the small southern town that night, contriving to bring our couple together. As the storm rages Denise crashes her car and upon regaining consciousness finds herself staring into the handsome face of risk taker extraordinaire Taylor. Before she can acknowledge him as her potential life partner though panic takes over as she realizes that her son is no longer in the car and is feared to be lost in the nearby swamp.

I won't be giving anything away by telling you that Taylor rescues both Denise and her son and together they forge into a relationship. But as wonderful as the relationship seems in the beginning it doesn't take long for the cracks to show and the harder Denise tries to help Taylor the more he pulls away. Shutting down emotionally and taking greater and greater risks with the fire department(For a small town they sure have a lot of fires.)

As with every Nicholas Sparks' novel we are never guaranteed a HEA which aids in a degree of tension throughout this story. For me the relationship and its sudden decline is so well written that it seemed a page from my own past, tugging at my heart with its familiarity. Taylor is a mystery throughout and the whys of this aren't revealed until the very end. THE RESCUE contains some fabulous secondary characters and you will fall in love with every one of them. It's also full of action, suspense and melodrama. There were a couple of moments when I actually gasped out loud, unbelieving as to what I'd just read. Have some Kleenex handy, this is great yet as always with Sparks bittersweet love story. Cheers!


Even though I didn't finish this awful book, I find that over a week later I'm still FURIOUS about this:

The heroine is a penniless single mom who works the night shift as a waitress and during the day takes care of her disabled 3-year-old. The first time the hero comes to her house--on an unplanned visit--he notes that even though the place is old, it's spotless. From this, of course, we're supposed to infer that the heroine is a hard worker, has high moral fiber, and is good wife material.

BULLSHIT! Did the feminist movement happen for nothing?? Do people still not realize that housework is WORK, not a sign of character or a mark of femininity? For people who have enough leisure time to keep their houses spotless, or enough money to pay someone else to do it for them--that's great, I'm happy for you.

But if you're a single parent and work full time at a minimum-wage job, by all means spend your precious few leisure hours reading books or meditating or sleeping or taking a walk or, heaven forbid, posting on facebook, and if your house is a mess I won't think a bit less of you. In fact, if you slave away to make your house spotless, I'm going to question your judgment, and wonder why you bought into the ridiculous mindset that "cleanliness is next to godliness." Leave a few germs around, for heaven's sake; your son's immune system will be stronger.

Trupti Dorge

Before going anywhere with this review I would like to say that I love Nicholas Sparks. He has brought tears to my eyes by his heart wrenching stories many times. But it really pains me to say that I did not like this book. I am so disappointed.

The premise, in short, is as follows. Denise, a single woman in her late twenties has a 4 year old son, Kyle, who has learning disabilities. Denise is juggling her evening shift at a local diner and is also managing to home school her son Kyle to improve his language understanding and speaking abilities.

On a stormy weather one night, Denise’s car skids and bangs against a tree. She falls unconscious. When she wakes up she finds that Kyle has disappeared.

Taylor is a volunteer fireman who finds her unconscious in her car. He and the other fireman manage to search and find Kyle from a swamp and it is very obvious that Taylor, being the hero of the novel, is instrumental in finding him.

So far so good. All this happens in the first 100 pages or less of this novel. The rest of the novel is how they fall in love and how Taylor manages to overcome his issues from the past and how they live happily ever after.

My main complain here, I never thought I would say this for a Nicholas Sparks novel, is the writing. It’s too cheesy. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheesy, but this is *bad* cheesy. It’s like he was trying too hard. ‘The Rescue’ lacks the easy and non-pretentious writing of ‘The message in the bottle’.

After the first hundred pages the book kind of dragged on and on and on. I really did not understand how Taylor’s problems from the past kept him from getting too close to Denise.

Finally, I thought Nicholas Sparks tried to explain things a little too much. I am intelligent enough to read in between the lines, thank you very much. I don’t need a step by step explanation of why the characters are doing what they are doing.

Even though I did not like this book, I will certainly read another book by him, albeit with a little caution.


Single mother, Denise Holton is driving back home after a doctors appointment with her four year old son, Kyle in the back seat. Rain is falling steadily which makes for slippery conditions and being night time makes it worse and as, Denise takes the curve in the road she quickly discovers that there is a fully grown doe in the middle of the road. Denise hits the breaks as hard as she can, but on the wet road the tires lose grip and before she knows it the car is spinning out of control and heading towards the cypress trees.

Taylor McAden is a volunteer firefighter and the first one to attend the accident scene. He introduces himself to, Denise and he can see straight away that she is bleeding and in quite a bit of pain. Denise instantly tries to turn toward the back seat to see how, Kyle is, but he's not there. Distraught and worried, Denise explains to, Taylor that her son was in the back seat and is now missing. As the rest of the emergency services arrive at the scene they quickly learn that, Kyle is missing and the search begins, but things are made harder as the weather is getting worse and visibility is not good. Denise also explains to Taylor that, Kyle has a learning and speech disorder which means he would not respond if his name was being called out. As time passes, Denise becomes more worried about her son and the thought of never seeing him again is unbearable.

A short time after the accident, Denise bumps into, Taylor at the supermarket and it's not long after this that they start to form a friendship. Although Taylor really enjoys, Denise's company he not sure he wants to take it any further, but the more they spend time together the stronger both their feeling become.

Another very enjoyable read by Nicholas Sparks. A heartwarming story of family, friendships and love which I have no hesitation in recommending.


“People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.”



I borrowed this book from a friend while on vacation, because I was DESPERATE. She promised it was amazing. It was not.

I did not like Taylor. Denise was a flagrant Mary Sue (did the woman have a single flaw?). Melissa and Mitch's main functions were to push Taylor towards (or back to) Denise. The writing was flat - it seemed rushed, and watered down.

A friend who is a speech therapist had some very critical things to say about the "therapy" presented in the book. I defer to her opinion on the matter for the most part, since she is the expert. Speaking for myself, I did not find the therapy methods Denise used very convincing. It seemed as though what she was doing was just inducing Kyle to copy her, instead of teaching him. I can't see that strapping a child in a chair for HOURS AND HOURS would be helpful, either. It seems torturous. For a half hour? Sure. For an hour? Okay. For 8 hours? (as described by Mr. Sparks in his Author's Note) no way. All that would teach a child (it seems to me) is that learning = pain, or at the least, discomfort.

Next time I'm that desperate for reading material I'll read the back of my shampoo bottle instead.