Monday, October 19, 2009

Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish - REVIEWED

“Everything swelled in the heat. Problems. Fears. Sins. All puffed with humidity and ready to rain out with the slightest change in air pressure.” (p. 27)

Christa Parrish writes with descriptive, lyrical prose that creates vivid pictures in the reader’s mind and soul. Her latest novel, Watch Over Me, is a particularly poignant story about three uniquely wounded people who long for the loving protection that only a Heavenly Father can provide. However, these three very different people are alone in their pain, not able to trust themselves to the care and affection of another person. When an abandoned newborn is discovered and introduced into the lives of these wounded people, its as if the Lord has cracked open the door to their hearts, and slowly and ever so painfully healing begins.

Deputy Benjamin Patil and his wife Abbi are two of the most painfully wounded people ever to grace the pages of a novel. Ben is basically a walking wounded soldier who is slowly being devoured by the horrors he experienced in Afghanistan. Abbi is watching her husband wither away into nothingness and is helpless to do anything to reverse the dark progression of his trauma. All the while, she is also struggling with demons from her past, and she is unable to reach beyond her own pain and help Ben recover.

Meanwhile, across town in an even more depraved environment, a young boy named Matthew is depending on his faith alone to carry him through the painful realities of his life. Abandoned by his addict mother, Matthew lives with an aunt who lives from one strange boyfriend to the other leaving Matthew to care for his young cousins. Matthew is also fighting for his own life as he struggles with a rare medical condition that will eventually kill him unless he finds a kidney donor.

When Ben and Abbi become foster parents to an abandoned infant they begin making very crude attempts to reach out to one another again. When Abbi hires Matthew to help babysit, she unknowingly opens her life and that of her husband to even greater possibilities. The struggles these three face during the course of this story will both break your heart and renew your hope. As your heart becomes enmeshed within their individual struggles, you can’t help but be amazed at the way the Lord brings each piece of the puzzle together for everyone’s good and His glory.

Watch Over Me is not a light read. It’s actually an emotionally dark story. But the truth it reveals about the human heart and the need for a Savior is beautiful, and the journey toward healing is realistically difficult and painful. Life is not a neatly wrapped package of blessings. Christa Parrish knows this and writes from the heart about struggles familiar to everyone. She leaves the reader with hope even though things turn out very differently than anyone hopes or imagines.


A past winner of Associated Press awards for her journalism, Christa Parrish now teaches literature and writing to high school students, is a homeschool mom, and lives near Saratoga Springs, New York. Visit


The Book Club Network - TBCN said...

You are so right Kim, this is a very powerful story.

Nora :D
Finding Hope Through Fiction

Mocha with Linda said...

How do you DO that?! Such a beautiful review!