Mibby Garrett is still mired in grief after her husband’s fatal accident six months ago. Without realizing it, Mibby is barely functioning. Her son, Ky, is suffering, too, but is afraid to even talk about his father because of the fresh pain it will cause his mother. Mibby works as a garden designer and takes comfort in nurturing her flowers. But who is nurturing Kyle?
This work of Christian fiction explores how the power of prayer, the steady support of friends, and the gentle healing that comes with time can take us through mind-numbing grief and bring us back to an appreciation for life and new love. It is not an easy subject to tackle, but Patti Hill’s first novel delves into the complexity of grief with empathy, insight and even humor. Like a Watered Garden will make you look at your own life as you struggle with Mibby through her deep sadness. The book is thought-provoking, and I wondered as I read how I would handle the pain of losing a family member so unexpectedly. Would I emerge as strong as Mibby, or would I simply drown in my loneliness and grief? The novel allows us to hope that we would find the way to embrace life and love again.
Mibby Garrett’s character is frail, vulnerable and very believable. In fact, all the characters in the novel seem like people you know and care about. The appearance of Andrea takes the reader by surprise, and her pesky persistence in her quest to know her father might cause dislike to creep in, but the author’s ability to reveal the souls of her characters bit by bit enable us to love her in the end. Louise, the good-intentioned innkeeper next door, is lovely although a bit preachy. Don’t we all know someone like that?
Honestly, this is the first piece of Christian fiction I have read and reviewed. I was expecting to find that the book might be unappealing to someone who does not consider herself a “spiritual” person. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not an attempt to push religious beliefs but rather an attempt to inspire and heal. In a media piece published by Bethany House, it was said that Patti writes “to understand, to teach, to pray, to comfort and to entertain.” Like a Watered Garden certainly succeeds.