Jan 5, 2010

Book Review: The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry

"I veered off the freeway at the next exit, stopped at the light, and lowered the automatic top of the convertible.

A woman in the car next to mine rubbed her full lips together. Catching me staring at her, she traced the outline of her mouth with the edge of her coffee cup.

Grinning, I winked.

She tossed her head and waved with her left hand, highlighting the unadorned ring finger. The light turned green and she accelerated across the intersection.

I'd almost forgotten about the constricting band on my own finger, one of those details I could not afford to overlook. I should have felt something then, some seizing of my heart that I could be cruel enough to leave my family. But I didn't. I pictured my heart, a pea-sized pebble rolling around in the cavity of my chest." The Familiar Stranger, pg 16.

To say that Denise Little was not thrilled with her husband's decision to skip church for a hiking excursion would have been putting it mildly. But when she receives a call from the police at the end of the service, her world comes crashing down around her. Rushing to the hospital, she finds her husband broken, unconscious but mercifully alive. When he finally wakes up, he has no idea who she is.

Their already bumpy marriage takes horrible hits as dark secrets of his past come sneaking out of the closet. Denise finds herself forgiving again and again. But how much can one woman take? Can she handle the whole truth?

Christina's book grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let me go. I even dreamed about the story, trying to put all the pieces together while I slept. Christina's style was easy to read and very engaging. Her characters were real - flawed and believable. The story line was compelling and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

If you haven't read The Familiar Stranger yet, I suggest that you do so. It's worth it!

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