The Rescuer’s Path
A 1971 horseback romp through the woods near Washington, DC, leads 17-year-old Malca Bernovski to the hiding place of a grievously wounded young man. Anti-Vietnam War activist Gavin Hareen had been shot after an Army truck exploded, and Malca recognizes him as the “insane bomber” from news coverage about the purported terrorism and accused fugitive.
However, Malca remembers tales that her mother, a Holocaust survivor, told of hiding in an attic from Nazi soldiers. She overcomes her fear of the suspected bomber and nurses Gavin back to health. He, the radicalized son of a Syrian refugee, is suspicious of the sheltered Malca at first. The pair learns to trust each other, and he protests his innocence to the girl. However, Gavin’s location is betrayed. When the FBI closes in, he flees to the Rocky Mountains, and Malca is compelled to follow him.
In The Rescuer’s Path, the award-winning Paula Friedman explores the complex emotional life of this unlikely couple, and also of their daughter, who was given up for adoption. Decades pass before Julie contacts her birthmother and Gavin’s father can bring himself to meet Malca. These meetings bring peace to Malca’s extended family and also to readers of Friedman’s thought-provoking tale. Adults and young adults who are intrigued by stories of multicultural love, political activism from Vietnam to present day, adoption, and reconciliation will enjoy the tender, beautifully told The Rescuer’s Path.