Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
The Familiar Stranger
(Moody Publishers - September 1, 2009)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Single mother and foster parent, Christina Berry carves time to write from her busy schedule because she must tell the stories that haunt her every waking moment. (Such is the overly dramatic description of an author's life!) She holds a BA in Literature, yet loves a good Calculus problem, as well. All that confusion must have influenced her decision to be team captain of a winning team on Family Feud.
Her debut novel, The Familiar Stranger, released from Moody in September and deals with lies, secrets, and themes of forgiveness in a troubled marriage. A moving speaker and dynamic teacher, Christina strives to Live Transparently--Forgive Extravagantly!
Her work has also appeared in The Secret Place, The Oregonian, and Daily Devotions for Writers.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Craig Littleton's decision to end his marriage would shock his wife, Denise . . . if she knew what he was up to. When an accident lands Craig in the ICU, with fuzzy memories of his own life and plans, Denise rushes to his side, ready to care for him.
They embark on a quest to help Craig remember who he is and, in the process, they discover dark secrets. An affair? An emptied bank account? A hidden identity? An illegitimate child?
But what will she do when she realizes he's not the man she thought he was? Is this trauma a blessing in disguise, a chance for a fresh start? Or will his secrets destroy the life they built together?
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Familiar Stranger, go HERE
The Familiar Stranger speaks to the pain of betrayal in a marriage and how far a person's capacity for love and forgiveness can be stretched.
What makes this novel work so beautifully is the author's use of a dual first-person point of view. We see the story unfold through the eyes of both Denise and Craig. Each section is labeled "his" or "hers" which eliminates any potential confusion. By getting into their skins, you can't help but empathize with both of them.
There's a mystery at the heart of The Familiar Stranger. I saw it coming fairly early on in the book, but I think there's a good reason for that. Something I read in an interview with Christina tipped me off. It wasn't anything overt, but the vague mention of the inspiration for the story immediately sounded a bell in my imagination. I honestly can't say if I would have seen where it was going otherwise. I can say that figuring out the secret didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.
Christina Berry has produced a debut novel to be proud of. I look forward to seeing what she offers up next.
Read my Take 5 interview with Christina Berry on Examiner.com