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Book Review: Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish

Link for the book @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Watch-Over-Me-Christa-Parrish/dp/B00381B8AY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1291307294&sr=8-1
Paperback Bargain Price $5.60
Hardback Large Print $34.95
Kindle $9.29

Link for the book @ Christian Book:
http://www.christianbook.com/watch-over-me-christa-parrish/9780764205545/pd/205545?item_code=WW&netp_id=626016&event=ESRCN&view=details
Paperback $9.99
Ebook $9.29

Author's site:
http://christaparrish.com/
and her blog:
http://christaparrish.com/blog

Watch Over Me won the ECPA Christian Book Award for fiction in 2010. 

Thanks to Open Book at Bethany House for my free copy.

Published by Bethany House 2009, 352 pages
Marital Conflict, Marriage, Mystery, Infertility, PTSD

The book begins in a powerful way by Benjamin Patil a sheriff in small town Temple, South Dakota, finding an abandoned newborn baby girl in a farmers field. The baby is found inside a yellow smiley face plastic bag. Benjamin is distraught, how could this happen in the small community of South Dakota? Benjamin and his wife are candidates to foster this baby. But, it is evident that they both have many heavy issues that could derail their ability to care for this child. Throughout the story Benjamin works to find out who the mother of this baby girl is. Benjamin is a Veteran of the National Guard, a Veteran of combat in Afghanistan. His wife is Abbi: a chilly personality, cynical, brazen, selfish, stubborn, angry, problem with food and weight, abuses laxatives, environment conscience, judgmental and harsh. She is not a character that I liked; I intensely disliked her selfish attitude towards her husbands military duty and PTSD. I am the mother of a combat Veteran, daughter of a combat Veteran, granddaughter and sister of combat Veterans. We all have our opinions; but for our loved ones we put our selfish needs to voice our opinions aside, and instead love unconditionally. That means we are second. It is less about what we say, and more about the depth of our actions, which is a reflection of our character. The PTSD was not fully addressed in the book. I know from my own sons experience (and daughter in-law), and we live in a town with a good Veterans Hospital; that counseling is difficult and can easily be ignored. The Veteran has to do research on his own and speak up that he or she needs help. I've heard of many who pay out of their own pockets for good counseling, and not "just" a prescription (I only say that because that tends to be the trend, write a prescription but leave out the counseling). So, I would have liked to have read more in this story about Benjamin's PTSD and his goal to find and receive help. I knew all along that Abbi's harshness and hidden anger was actually deeply buried pain from her past. I waited for the story to advance and find out what she was trying so hard to stuff. Other characters with heavy, heavy problems are entered in to the story. I felt that the book was too heavy with drama, it teetered on drowning. I counted 17 issues/problems that the characters had, I could probably have found more. I was exhausted by the time I finished the story. I did like it that from the get go of the story the writer wrote as if you were right there with the character. The reader is not behind the character, or hovering above, but right there visually seeing and feeling what the character does. I also liked it that the two main characters Benjamin and Abbi did not give up, it may have appeared at times that they were, but they did not throw in the towel. I also liked it that the  author was brave to interject so many edgy issues for this story; but I still felt that there were too many.


Blissful Reading!
Annette

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