Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Watch Over Me

Rate this book
Deputy Benjamin Patil is the one to find the infant girl - hours old, abandoned in a field. When the mother can't be located, Ben and his wife, Abbi, seem like the perfect couple to serve as foster parents. But the baby's arrival opens old wounds for Abbi and shines a harsh light on how much Ben has changed since a devastating tour in Afghanistan.

349 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 2009

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Christa Parrish

5 books104 followers
Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of five novels and founder of Narratology, a fair trade non-profit social enterprise. She is also a homeschool parent, speaker, and editor. She is currently at work on her sixth - and seventh! - novel.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
128 (26%)
4 stars
189 (39%)
3 stars
118 (24%)
2 stars
37 (7%)
1 star
11 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 73 reviews
Profile Image for Carly.
276 reviews71 followers
March 6, 2010
When Deputy Benjamin Patil finds a baby girl only a few hours old abandoned in a field, he and his wife Abbi are chosen to be foster parents for her. But, their home is filled with stress and disagreement and may not be the ideal home for this baby. The source of the tension is Benjamin’s trauma while serving in Afghanistan. Their lives intersect with a young man, Matthew who suffers from several medical issues and comes from a troubled family. As Abbi and Benjamin continue to take care of the baby, more and more pain is revealed and their marriage struggles to survive.
I have to say I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, Christa Parrish is a very gifted writer and storyteller. She is definitely an author I am interested in continuing to read. I found this book to be a bit too edgy for my liking. Now, I usually like edgy books, a lot, but this one just did not agree with me entirely. One reason for that is possibly because of the sexual presence in this story. Don’t get me wrong, this book was not trashy or smutty at all, but I just felt it was a bit much for my liking. I also had trouble relating to Abbi and her more liberal tendencies, especially her anti war stance.
I really liked Matthew’s part in this story. He was my favorite character and I felt he was a strong presence in this story. His persistent faith and determination were inspiring.
Overall, this book is well written, the story is interesting with very real characters. If you like edgy fiction, this is definitely the book for you.
Profile Image for Heidi Chiavaroli.
Author 15 books859 followers
January 9, 2019
I love all of Christa Parrish's books, and this one was no exception. Her writing is raw and real, but filled with hope. Great story.
Profile Image for Julie Hedlund.
Author 5 books174 followers
September 27, 2010
This book fell completely flat for me. The story strings together a whole series of implausible events bound by characters that are at best, skeletal and at worst, downright unlikeable. [return][return]So much went wrong here it's hard to know where to begin. Let's begin with implausible events. One of the main characters, Benjamin, serves in Afghanistan with his lifelong best friend, Stephen. Would the armed forces allow lifelong friends to serve together in the same unit? I doubt it. Ben returns scarred physically and shattered emotionally to his pacifist, vegan wife. Needless to say, there are problems. So it seems plausible that he would, in the line of his detective duty, find an abandoned newborn baby in the woods and bring it home to raise with the wife he hasn't really spoken to in months. Oh, and having a NEWBORN in the home would begin to make things better between the couple!! Sleep deprivation does work wonders for solving marital problems.[return][return]So much is left unexplained, and many threads of the story never lead anywhere. Abbi comes from an economically privileged but emotionally barren family. She's liberal and vegan but we don't know why she developed those views. Her obsession with her weight and the corresponding eating disorder might explain the vegan diet, but not her anti-war stance and her extreme environmentalism. Meanwhile, Ben comes from an immigrant family with parents whose marriage was arranged. The significance of that and how it shaped Ben's views about life, family or marriage is never explained. Nor do we truly understand why he wanted to serve in the military. [return][return]While the author leaves gaping holes in developing the characters, she smacks us upside the head with a brick with near constant references to Abbi's vegan-ness. Okay, we GET it, that she's unconventional and crunchy without constant reminders. Abbi has a nose ring, wears recycled sari skirts, uses baking soda for deodorant, cloth diapers for the baby, eats carob and cranberry bars, her friend drives a Toyota Prius, she drinks soy milk, and on and on and on and on. What would have been FAR more interesting was understanding WHY she did those things. There are vague references to her views being outside the norm in her church. Why? How did her views shape her experience of Christianity? We don't have any idea, but we DO know what she ate for breakfast.[return][return]Then, there are complete contradictions in the story. Abbi's friend Lauren, for example, comes to bail her out of a breakdown. Abbi asks why she's there, and Lauren responds (paraphrasing), "That's the church. We're called to help one another in a time of need. Where else would I be?" This after refusing to speak to Abbi for 13 months because Abbi's husband survived Afghanistan and hers didn't. Seems a pretty sanctimonious statement given their history. It's not that I don't think people can be contradictory, but we don't know how Lauren came to her change of heart because the author only provides a trite explanation during an "all-of-a-sudden" reconciliation scene. [return][return]I could go on, but I won't. You get the idea. I didn't like the book. If you read it, I hope you will. There are a whole set of other characters and story lines, including that of the baby, that are more interesting than Abbi and Ben. I won't go into it here so as to avoid spoilers. My interest in the outcomes for the other characters was what enabled me to finish the book.
Profile Image for Nora St Laurent.
1,375 reviews74 followers
October 19, 2009
When this book became available to read through an author blog tour I signed up. I had read Home Another Way, Christa’s first book, and couldn’t wait to see where this new author would take me next!

Edgy! Christa has away of not only talking about the elephant in the room, but describes it too. Not in great detail, but enough to make you experience the moment and maybe start to have some compassion and understanding of an uncomfortable situation.

This book is gut-wrenchingly honest, transparent and difficult to read in parts because of the subject matter. God loves what most people deem unlovable. Christa shows this very aspect of God’s love in a powerful and moving way!

Another fascinating aspect of Watch Over Me, is the fact that a young deaf boy is one of her main characters. No one makes special accommodations for him; he’s a deaf boy making his way in a hearing world. He learns to adjust. He explains himself to someone that asks him if it’s hard.

“What part?”

“Any of it.” She asks.

He thinks..."this part. The communication. His inability to say the very thing he had pent up inside.

“It’s hard to fit everything I want to say on a scrap of paper!”

The font in the book is set to look like Matt, the deaf boy's, actual handwriting. I liked that. Christa showed many struggles a deaf boy might have going to school, also living day-in and day-out trying to talk to everyone he met, by writing everything he wanted to say on a note pad. I can't even imagine doing that.

The author describes what goes on inside a person’s heart, mind, and emotions when someone meets God where it hurts. Where the rubber meets the road; where life is messy and uncomfortable. When life happens fast and furious, when you lose control and there seems to be no hope. Can you really lean on God? Does He care? Will He help? Christa Parrish answers these questions and so much more in a very honest, riveting way. These characters and this story will stay with you long after you close the book.

Nora St.Laurent
Finding Hope Through Fiction
Profile Image for Valerie.
245 reviews5 followers
November 16, 2009
Watch Over Me, by Christa Parrish is my first book by Christa Parrish. Her style of writing is easy and captivating.

Abbi and Benjamin have been struggling in their marriage since he returned from his military tour to Afganistan. Back in South Dakota, where he is a deputy, he finds a newborn baby girl in a field while carrying out regular duties. He saves the baby and starts visiting her in the hospital every day. When a foster home is needed for the baby, Abbi and Ben step forward.

Ben has shut Abbi out and there is little remaining in their relationship. Abbi finds less and less reason to stay in their rocky marriage.

The story is riddled with unfolding subplots: Matthew, a deaf and mute math genius needs a new kidney; He lives with his dysfunctional aunt and her four daughters; Abbi is bulimic; Abbi's best friend shut her out when her husband was killed in Afganistan; The on-going investigation of who left the baby to die in a field dominates Ben's thoughts, along with his Afganistan experience; Abbi and Ben's less-than-satisfactory church experience. There were many flesh and blood messy characters.

I appreciated the realism of the book. I liked that it wasn't the story-book ending. Life is not filled with fairy-tale endings, and I was afraid this book would disappoint me with a happily-ever-after conclusion. It did not. But it had a conquering ending. It was a realistic ending and one where the characters were continuing to grow and overcome.
83 reviews2 followers
April 22, 2010
Abbi and her husband, Benjamin, live in a small town. Ben has recently come home from war in Afghanistan where is best friend was killed. Their marriage is on the brink and Benjamin just can not get over the horror of losing his friend and the blame he places on himself for it.

However, when Deputy Benjamin Patil finds an abandoned infant in a field and then Abbi and him become the baby's foster parents will it help him get out of the pain he is living in? Or will it push him over the edge?

There are a couple of different characters in the book, whose stories are laid out~ however they do cross and mingle.

This story does not necessarily have a happy ending~ which is refreshing. I have been reading many books over the last 6 months or so and 99% of them have fictional happy endings.

However I was disappointed that the author did not dive deeper in to her characters. I got bits and pieces of information about Abbi and Ben, but did not know why Abbi was a vegan, had bulimia, and had an emotionless childhood with her parents. I needed to know more.

My favorite character was Matthew, I would have loved to find out his ending and where is life went past the end of this book.
Profile Image for Readnponder.
676 reviews30 followers
February 1, 2010
This is the second title I've read by this fairly new author. In both "Watch Over Me" and her earlier "Home Another Way," Christa Parrish introduces characters not usually seen in Christian fiction. For that reason, I shall continue to read her work.

These characters are much less sanitized than what one finds in the typical Amish or prarie novel. They are human beings in process ... and in need of grace. This story involves a 17-year-old deaf/mute boy in renal failure; a deputy sheriff recently returned from Afghanistan struggling with survivor guilt; and his wife, a vegetarian hippie, who happens to hold the opposite position on the war.

Ben Patil, the deputy, finds an abandoned newborn baby in the course of his law enforcement duties. He and his wife foster the baby until decisions can be made about her future. The 17-year-old helps with babysitting. The novel does not have a nice, clean, happy ending. There are loose ends, and the characters do not necessarily live happily ever after. However, it feels truer to life than the neat, tidy, contrived endings I usually associate with Christian fiction.
579 reviews5 followers
January 23, 2010
Our May book club book. This is a new author to us. Am anxious to see what others thought about this, as our library and amazon people had given it a good rating. It wasnt a bad read. And parts of it I did enjoy, and it keep me reading to the end. I had it figured out pretty soon who the mother of the baby was, so that wasnt a great mystery. There were just some REALLY weird parts that I have trouble getting past. It didnt end the way I wanted it to though. I probably would not recommend it to anyone, nor am I sure if I would read anything else by this author, she just didnt leave me wanting more from her.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sarah Sundin.
Author 16 books2,706 followers
November 19, 2010
Christa Parrish writes so beautifully. Who else could take a hippy vegan, a stressed veteran, an abandoned baby, and a sick teenager, and craft such a poignant story?
Profile Image for Ranee.
896 reviews15 followers
February 15, 2014
A realistic story with real solutions to tough life events.
438 reviews2 followers
September 21, 2019
I was unaware when I requested this book that it was Christian fiction. When I figured that out – I almost stopped reading it because I thought it might not be fair for me to review it…since I am not a Christian. But after a few days, I decided that it was still a book, containing characters and a storyline, and regardless of religious slant, could be reviewed as to the content and quality of the story.

That being said, it took me quite a while to get involved with the characters. Despite the plethora of major issues facing these people (easting disorders, PTSD, infertility, life threatening illness, baby abandonment, etc.) there was a flatness to their words. There wasn’t much emotion behind their actions. I couldn’t connect to them until I’d read enough to have a great deal of backstory in my head.

The main characters are Abbi, Ben and Matthew – struggling with major issues and with each other. Though through the first half of the book (or so) they seem very wooden, after time, the reader has experienced enough with them to bring them to life. They each have their own versions of Christian faith, and struggles with that faith.

Matthew’s faith is combined with a deep appreciation for the natural or scientific world. “In pi, he saw the reflection of God. Pi was constant, always the same – today, tomorrow, and forever. It was irrational, like the cross, foolishness to those who didn’t believe. It was transcendental; no finite sequence of operations on integers could ever create it. It never ended.”

At times, though, the book hits home with an everyday bit of living. “Benjamin went to work wearing fatherhood under his eyes and on his shoulder.” Anyone who has spent a night with an infant can relate to that.

Abbi is a pacifist and Ben has returned from war, which makes up one of the biggest conflicts of the book. At times, I think Abbi’s position is presented in a simplified and slightly condescending way, but I did think there were moments that got the heart of the problem rather well. “He went off to shoot at things one weekend a month, coming home afterward to shower away the smell of mock combat, wash and roll his fatigues into a bag he kept in the trunk of his car until next training exercise. And she spouted the flaws of the just war theory and “blessed are the peacemakers” from a comfy armchair at the coffee shop two blocks from the college. Neither thought they’d be forced to become who they said they were. And then the war started.”

While I can’t say that I would recommend this book highly or read it again, there were a few moments of insight that made the reading worthwhile.
Profile Image for Donna Jo Stone.
Author 2 books25 followers
October 26, 2017
This review is also on my site at donnastone.me.

Deputy Benjamin Patil is called to a scene and finds a an infant abandoned, left in a plastic grocery bag. The mother is nowhere to be found. A door to door search yields no result. By the time the infant is ready to leave the hospital, the investigation has not led to the mother or any information. Benjamin and his wife Abbi are registered as foster parents and take the baby girl in. The stress of caring for a newborn adds to their already troubled marriage.

Abbi and Benjamin are a case of opposites. Benjamin is a war vet recently returned from Afghanistan, while Abbi is a vocal pacifist.

Reactions and Thoughts (contains spoilers)

The wars we fight keep us apart, pushing into the relationships that once sustained us. Separating bone and marrow, some wars we walk into, some we are dragged into, and then there are the private wars we carry around within ourselves. Watch Over Me is an account of what conflicts can do to relationships and the picture of what finding our way back looks like for some of us. Christa Parrish is skilled at creating real life characters. I was quickly drawn into the story and felt an affinity for the couple as they walked through difficulties. Benjamin has returned from war and has PTSD, while Abbi fights her own inner war with bulimia.

In my opinion, Parrish has drawn a quite believable picture of the struggle for control with an eating disorder.

“She did it for the same reason she’s binge used, some bizarre paradox of simultaneous self soothing and self-loathing that not even coming face-to-face with the living Christ at 19 could end. He died so bulimia wouldn’t overcome her.”

I didn’t always like Abbi, but I could relate to her and feel her pain.

Benjamin fights his own demons, riddled with guilt from his inability to save his best friend during the war. He talks of praying for his own spiritual awakening, his “dark night of the soul”.

“Well, he had what he asked for. What a fool. He wondered if he would make it out at all.”

Benjamin’s predicament resonated with me. I think all of us who have prayed this type of prayer have had those moments when we wished we could snatch those petitions back. Asking God to do whatever it takes from a comfortable place of ignorance does not prepare us for the challenge. We find ourselves saying, but I didn’t mean this, not this. And this is where we decide. Will we submit to the change that we previously desired? Will we be strong enough to submit to the molding of our soul? Faith growing is not for the faint of heart. It is not an easy thing.

“Nothing had prepared him for the upheaval that true pain could wreak on the soul. His faith had no calluses.”

The character of Matthew, a young man high school student who also happens to be the cousin of the baby’s birth mother, has his own struggles. He is living with his aunt in a less than desirable situation. When Matthew realizes that Silvia, the baby that has now become part of Abbi and Benjamin’s family, is his cousin Sky’s baby, he is conflicted about revealing what he knows. He does not want to betray his cousin, nor does he want to cause upheaval in Abbi and Benjamin’s lives.

“…deciding if two families will be torn apart, wondering if secrets like this ever lose their teeth.”

In the end Matthew cannot keep the secret.

“He knew he did the right thing. But was the right thing ever the wrong thing?”

A big question we all wrestle with sooner or later. All we can do is pray for guidance and do our best.

I like thought provoking stories, and this one is worth rereading.

Watch Over Me received the 2010 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year and the ForeWord Reviews Bronze Medal for Religious Fiction

Issues of Concern

Topics include: teenage pregnancy, neglect, abandonment of infant, life-threatening illness, eating disorders, crisis of faith, PTSD
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
15 reviews
December 26, 2022
On an ordinary patrol day, Benjamin Patil finds a baby abandoned in a field. Without a home for the time being, Ben elects to take the baby home. Abbi, Ben's wife, has been fighting her own demons for awhile. While she's not pleased that he brought home the baby, who he has named Silvia, both Abbi and Ben become attached to her. Matthew, a deaf boy who has health issues and cannot talk, lives with his aunt and cousins. He meets Ben and Abbi and Silvia throughout the course of the book. Will Ben and Abbi be reconciled to each other and to god? Will they find the mother of the baby Ben found? Will Matthew find a healing? All these questions and more are gracefully mixed into one book. Parrish connects people together well, as if they were real.
Overall, it was a pretty good book, just not my style. I appreciated how real it felt, but I didn't see the storyline picking up as much as other books. It had a slow start, but a beautiful finish. I don't know if I would recommend this book, but it is geared toward older people - about upper high school/college and beyond: not for its eloquence, but tough topics.
Profile Image for Anita.
35 reviews
May 28, 2019
There are times that we want something so bad that we try and control all of the details our self and leave God out. God stands in the shadows and patiently waits for us to come back to Him, because what we think we want sometimes is not in His plan and will. God is always faithful, even when we are not and always knows what is best for us. I loved this book. It is a story of hurt, betrayal, faith. love, redemption and healing......
Profile Image for Sheila Myers.
Author 15 books13 followers
October 27, 2019
The plot idea was a good one. I enjoyed this one enough to read through to the end, but I was disappointed throughout the book. Important information about some of the characters appear much later in the book when, if placed at the beginning, would have made some of the situations make more sense. Also, one part of the plot has no resolution at the end.
Profile Image for Jan.
1,878 reviews79 followers
January 24, 2018
A former soldier, a vegan environmentalist who protested the war, a deaf teen in need of a kidney transplant and a two hour old baby abandoned in a field are all interesting elements in this story and are all related...and they all need someone to watch over them.
354 reviews
May 8, 2017
It was okay. I liked it enough to finish but not enough to recommend it. It really shouldn't have been so boring.
Profile Image for Tammy Lenski.
20 reviews3 followers
January 17, 2020
What started off as a good book ending up leaving me wanting more of several characters . Perhaps it’s the beginning of a series ; unsure . I finished it but just wasn’t my best .
Profile Image for Violet.
Author 4 books11 followers
November 18, 2013
Abbi works a regular shift at the local grocery. Her husband Benjamin Patil is a member of the local police force. But Ben’s tour of duty in Afghanistan has changed things between them. They’re no longer the easy-going newlyweds they were when they first came to Beck County, South Dakota.

The day Ben finds a newborn girl abandoned in a grocery bag beside a dried-out stream near town starts a chain of events that alters their lives forever. When Ben can’t find out who the baby belongs to, he and Abbi agree to foster it. They call the little girl Silvia, and over time looking after her draws them together. Abbi stops stalking the laxative aisle, and Ben begins sleeping at home again instead of at the station. The crowd at church, oblivious to their problems, welcomes them back as the happy family they are becoming.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Matthew Savoie wonders what his medical condition will take from him next. The brilliant but deaf math whiz lives with his aunt and her four daughters. In an attempt to raise money to visit his father – maybe, just maybe he’ll agree to give Matt the kidney he so desperately needs – he gets a job helping Abbi and Ben cut the grass and look after Silvia. His involvement with them leads to the uncovering of a tangled web of relationships, emotions and coping strategies. Watch Over Me is a tour de force of a second novel by Christa Parrish.

Parrish’s very real and flawed characters make this book a delight. They are drawn with a particularity that brings them to life and makes them feel like people one has met.

Abbi is especially convincing with her hippie outlook, her anti-establishment views and her veganism (she’s even true to the latter in her bulimia, binging on bags of baby carrots).

War-shocked Ben is often unpredictable, though one can’t miss his sterling qualities especially as little Silvia brings them out. The cultural tension between Abbi and Ben’s immigrant parents feels believable.

Matthew the brilliant is the most sympathetic of the three. Who couldn’t like a kid who looks after his little cousins like a mother and takes comfort during hours of dialysis with thoughts of how God is like his favorite math concept:

“In pi he saw the reflection of God. Pi was constant, always the same – today, tomorrow, and forever. It was irrational, like the cross, foolishness to those who didn’t believe. It was transcendental; no finite sequence of operations on integers could ever create it.
It never ended.” pp. 50, 51.

Parrish’s writing is also a treat – brisk, particular, gritty and poetic. Note, for example, how this description of eating cereal rings true:
“The cereal, a store brand that came in a huge plastic bag, lost its crunch before Matthew sucked the first bite off the spoon. Still, he finished it, the soggy flakes filling the pits in his molars. He dug the mush out with his tongue, a silvery pain shooting through his jaw as he brushed the cavity he needed to have filled.”  p. 21

In another poetic passage she brings together the setting with the emotional state of Abbi and Ben:
“He heard Abbi come out of the bedroom, the swollen door opening with a sticky pop. 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

In telling the story she alternates between Abbi, Ben and Matthew’s viewpoints (all third person) – giving us a rich experience of the workings of three very different personalities. The dialogue rings true. Deaf-and-dumb Matthew’s notepad contributions, rendered within the book in a hand-printed-type font, deliver an unexpected but effective layer of realism.

Watch Over Me takes on some heavy issues. Parrish weighs in on things like love, marriage, family, the church, forgiveness, and redemption. Though it has many bleak moments, the story left me feeling hopeful about my very flawed self and the ability of God to redeem the most unlikely situation.
Profile Image for Tanya.
2 reviews5 followers
October 4, 2012
Christa Parrish does it again! I thought her book Home Another Way was excellent, and this one is even better in my opinion. This book pulled me in right away and I really connected with the characters.

This was a touching story centered on God and how He can take devastating situations and use them for His glory.

Deputy Benjamin finds an abandoned baby in a shopping bag that someone had just given birth to and discarded. Since Benjamin and his wife Abbie are registered foster parents, baby Silvia(they later named her), goes to stay with them.

Deputy Benjamin was in the war in Afghanistan and is suffering from PTSD after losing his best friend there. He wonders why it wasn't him because his friend has a wife and children at home. Why didn't God choose to take him instead? Abbie decided after her and Ben were married to drop the bomb on him that she couldn't conceive any children so this is just another piece to their marital troubles they need to work on. She has an eating disorder and is constantly popping laxatives because she thinks she is fat. So you can see that there are some underlying problems that need to be brought before God and dealt with.

Distant from God and aching for her marriage to survive, Abbie soon lets Silvia into her heart. Silvia brings Ben and Abbi together after a suffering marriage and some personal problems they both have and need to work through. They eventually realize that she's only a band-aid fix to to their issues. If Silvia hadn't shown up in their lives, would their marriage have survived?

Matthew is another great character in the story that I really loved. He is a teenage deaf boy who has some medical problems. His mother abandoned him so he has to stay with his dismissive aunt who has multiple children. Because of her wreckless lifestyle, Matthew is forced to pick up the pieces for her by cleaning the house and feeding the children and just showing them love that they are suppose to get from a parent. I really felt sorry for him and the life that he was handed at first until Ben and Abbie stepped into his life. The three of them created a bond and Matthew's life was forever changed.

I really loved this book. The suspense was driving me nuts because I kept finding myself wanted to see what was going to happen next. The problems in this book were problems that anyone could have today, which made the book seem even more real to me. I highly recommend you read it!

Profile Image for Christy Trever.
613 reviews17 followers
October 20, 2009
Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish is a stunning follow-up to her debut novel Home Another Way. Benjamin and Abbi Patil have watched their marriage slowly disintegrate after his return from Afghanistan. They are so radically different: Benjamin a police officer who is just your average guy, Abbi a war protester who is vigilant about keeping her vegan diet and safeguarding the earth, it doesn't seem like the love they once shared is enough to pull them through this storm. When Benjamin discovers an abandoned newborn baby and brings her home for them to care for until her parents are discovered, it forces them to re-evaluate their marriage and their future. Matthew, a profoundly sick and deaf teenage boy, drifts into their lives, but it's Matt who has the power to shatter them completely. I love Parrish's novels. Her characters aren't your shiny, bright Christian fiction characters that so many of the novels out there are populated with. Benjamin, Abbi, Matt, and the rest of the characters breathe and bleed realism. You could walk down the street anywhere and meet them. Abbi is sunk deeply in her independence; her fierce determination to be her own person has kept her from committing fully to her marriage. Benjamin wants so desperately to have a normal life, but he's shackled with guilt from the death of his best friend in the war. Matthew takes care of his four cousins, trying to give them a normal life, but his illness has given him an expiration date that makes every moment count. My heart ached for Matthew as he prayed through pi, trying to find peace of mind. Parrish is an enormously talented writer who understands that life doesn't always tie up everything neatly with a bow, and her stories reflect that. The reader realizes that the story doesn't end with the last page of the book, there is more to be said and done. The only sad thing about finishing the story is that I have to wait another year for her next book!
157 reviews2 followers
March 11, 2010
This is my second Parrish novel. I read Home Another Way last year and really liked it; therefore I was looking forward to this one. It did not disappoint me.
Watch Over Me is actually a series of stories strung together through the characters. The main story line involves Ben and Abbi Patil, two very different individuals in a very difficult marriage. The other two pivotal parts of the narration are concerning an abandoned infant (where did she come from, whose is she, where will she go) and a deaf teenager struggling through dialysis with little support from home. Each of the characters, both main and secondary ones, work through their own difficulties and tragedies as well as familial and/or marital problems. I was drawn into all aspects of the story right from the start, especially that of Matt, the teenage boy. Faith is pivotal in carrying the characters through their journeys or "dark nights of their souls" to find healing and redemption on the other side. They are each looking for someone to "watch over them," and in a way each play that role for another. It is good to know The One who watches over me! He sends people in and out of our lives to move us along our path closer to Him.
Parrish has a clear writing style that allows for easy reading, but she also delivers a strong faith element and leaves the reader with thoughts to ponder. Her voice is crisp and fresh. Her novels are unique. Christa Parrish is one that I will continue to follow, and I recommend that you do as well!
Profile Image for Patty LeBlanc.
49 reviews4 followers
February 21, 2011
I really liked the writing in this book. I had not read a book by Christa Parrish before this, but I enjoyed this one so much that I plan on reading Home Another Way also. Abbi as a character was sometimes a person I loved tremendously and also struggled with her thoughts and ideas. I understood her reasoning for the choices she made, but didn’t always agree with them. Abbi struggles with the changes in her husband and their relationship, and they have many things to work through to get their marriage back to functioning. Will having a baby arrive in their home be the thing to make things right or will it destroy what is left of their flailing marriage? I was drawn into this story by many aspects of it, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I look forward to reading another one of her books.
Profile Image for Mary.
Author 64 books364 followers
August 27, 2016
I truly fell in love with the struggling characters in Watch Over Me, a novel about loss, need, soul damage, and relationships that heal. Christa Parrish knows how to draw a reader into a complex, emotional, but not overwrought story. Her subtlety is superb. She entices the reader with just enough to want more, painstakingly unfolding the story. Watch over Me opens with a marriage in crisis, a PTSD former soldier struggling with unruly emotions and his peace-loving wife. Distance defines them. When the husband, now a police officer, finds an abandoned baby and brings her home to foster, the fissures in their marriage widen. Woven into that relationship is a deaf teenage boy who desperately needs a family. I loved this book. Loved the characters. Loved everything about it.
Profile Image for Katherine.
425 reviews
September 18, 2012
This isn't your typical Christian fiction book. Not in a bad way, but different. The author has a way of telling the story that is more raw, more true to real life. She has characters not normally seen in Christian fiction stories, with problems not many want to tackle.

I wasn't always comfortable with the brutal honesty of the words, but mostly because I could identify with the struggle to turn to God first, instead of trying to fix everything by myself; with the struggle to forgive myself for past sins and not relive them over and over.

Since I am an escapist reader, this wasn't my favorite book, but I appreciated the way it made me think about my own need for grace and the reminder that we need to forgive each other and always show love.
April 28, 2010

After reading Watch Over Me, I am adding Christa Parrish to my "favorite authors" list.

The first page of this book rocked my senses. I was intrigued and yet haunted by the initial subject matter (an abandoned newborn baby found in a grocery sack) - it was so gripping that I had to sit down and keep reading.

Benjamin and Abbi broke my heart as I read about their struggles. I could easily imagine what it must have been like for him to come home from Afghanistan with post traumatic stress disorder and what it must have been like for Abbi to long for the husband she used to know.

See my full review here:

789 reviews
September 5, 2012
At first I wasn't sure I was going to stick with this book, the writing style annoyed me for some reason, very short choppy sentences. But, I hung in there and before long I had been sucked in. It was a good fast read. Baby left in field and found by police officer who is trying to recover from Afghanistan and his marriage to his pacifist wife is struggling to. He takes the baby home and the story unfolds from there. One of my favorite characters is a deaf teen named Matt who has significant health issues and changes a few lives in the progression of the story. Once you get into it you won't be able to put it down.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 73 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.