Book Club Beat – Watch over Me by Christa Parrish

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Book club name and location: Bibliovores, northern California

Book: Watch over Me by Christa Parrish

What it’s about: Deputy Benjamin Patil is the one to find the infant girl, hours old, abandoned in a field. As police work to identify the mother, Ben and his wife, Abbi, seem like the obvious couple to serve as foster parents. But the newborn’s arrival opens old wounds for Abbi and shines a harsh light on how much Ben has changed since a devastating military tour. Their marriage teeters on the brink and now they must choose to reclaim what they once had or lose each other forever.

Were discussion questions available? None in the back of the book, and the hostess couldn’t find any on the author’s website. We would have liked some, but discussion never lagged.

What we liked about the book: We loved the diverse and well-drawn characters—from hippy vegan Abbi to wounded soldier Benjamin to sweet deaf math nerd Matthew. Each was so real—flawed yet sympathetic. We also liked the ending—not “tied up in a neat little bow,” but satisfying and realistic.

Anything we would change about the book? Nope. None of us found this an easy read. The novel delves into difficult subjects which make you examine your own life—especially your marriage—but we liked it.

Fun connections (did the story inspire food, decorations, favors, etc.?): Although tempted, no one made any of Abbi’s vegan creations. No soy, no bulgur—but we did have a variety of salads!

Deep connections (this story made us think about the following discussion topics): So many! We discussed post-traumatic stress disorder, whether Christians should focus on social issues or morality or a balance, and communication in marriage, but mostly we discussed the characters’ interesting situations.

Do you recommend this book for other book clubs? Very much if you want a deep book that makes you think—but not if you want a light frothy read.

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