Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Christa Parrish's "Watch Over Me"

Benjamin Patil is a sheriff’s deputy, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who is still struggling with the death of his best friend there. His wife, Abbi, is almost the antithesis of what one would expect a soldier’s wife to be – a peace activist who protested against the war her husband was fighting in, a health food advocate who has a serious eating disorder, and a wife who didn’t tell her husband until after they were married that she couldn’t have children. The Patils’ marriage is disintegrating, and the wonder is why it’s lasted as long as it has.

And There’s Matthew, a teenager who’s deaf and communicates by writing. Abandoned by his mother, he lives with his aunt and four cousins. Matthew is smart, the caretaker for his aunt’s family, a geek kind of kid whose gentle spirit has somehow survived a variety of adverse circumstances.

Then Benjamin finds a newborn baby abandoned in a plastic bag, and the lives of Benjamin, Abbi and Matthew will change forever.

Christa Parrish’s Watch Over Me didn’t turn out to be the kind of novel I expected. Instead of a straightforward romance, I found an incredibly fine novel and incredibly fine writing. I found characters I came to know and care about. And I found a story that absorbed me to the point that I had to finish it at 12:30 in the morning, long after I should have gone to sleep.

Parrish does not deliver the expected. She takes her story down paths that leave the reader wondering – and wanting to know more. She draw characters that are real, people whom you think you can reach out and touch, people who talk and behave and love and dream like real people do. And she writes about hope and forgiveness in a thoughtful and original way.

Now I have to order and read her first novel, Home Another Way. Watch Over Me is that good – you want to read everything this author has written.


Kathleen said...

Sounds more'n good. My wish list grows.

nAncY said...

it must be good if you stayed up to read it.

i will put it on the list.