Live Like a King

The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry

Posted on: September 10, 2009

Familiar_Stranger_Cover (2)

I usually do not read contemporary fiction. Honestly, if I am going to escape from life, I want something that will take me completely away from my culture and lifestyle. That said, ocassionally I do jump the shark and read some contemporary books that intrigue me. The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry is one of those books I would make the exception for.

Imagine getting a call during church that your husband comatose after a car accident. You rush to his side and as he awakens, he can’t remember his life. As you work together to recover memories, you find that the life you thought you had, you really didn’t have. How do you both put the pieces of your life and marriage back together?

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. Her debut novel, The Familiar Stranger, releases 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!

I had the opportunity to ask Christina a few questions…

How did you come up with such a fascinating plot?

In the summer of 2006, two stories appeared in the newspaper. One was a huge, national story; the other a smaller, local-interest item. I wondered what it might look like if those two stories conceived a child. Boom! I had the entire plot for The Familiar Stranger. It will be interesting to see if readers can figure out which stories inspired the book.

What do you want people to ponder after reading your novel?

What takeaway value do you hope readers receive after reading your novel?

The recent changes in my life—losing my husband, facing finding a “real” job, selling my home—have done nothing but solidify what I hope to be the theme of the book and my life: Live Transparently—Forgive Extravagantly. If reading The Familiar Stranger makes even one man or woman be more honest with his or her spouse or delve into trust issues in a healthy way, I’ll consider it a success. Maybe there’s a hurting heart that can find a new path to forgiveness because of the story.

What part does God play in your writing?

I believe He guides the story, adding layers I’m not even capable of comprehending while I write it. I’m not great at starting my writing time with prayer, but I try to stay open to where He might lead me.

I see writing as one of the tools He uses to form me into His image—a tool to teach me patience, self-control, determination, reliance on Him, and other life lessons. I also see writing as a gift that brings hope, fulfillment, and purpose when the rest of my life is falling apart.

Thanks for sharing with me Christina!

For a chance to win a free book, post a comment on this post. Make sure you include some contact info!

If you can’t wait to read the book, you can order at

Check out tomorrow’s stop on the blog tour.


7 Responses to "The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry"

Sounds like a good book. I don’t usually do contemporary fiction either, but this sounds like a good one. Enter me, please, for a copy! ~Mary

This sounds like a really inspirational book. Please enter me into the contest to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity.

Wow! As I sit here editing my own life story (well, the story of the past year of my life), I find that this book looks fascinating! Please enter me for a contest!!! Thank you so much!

Dawn, thank you for hosting me here. I think it’s just real enough to not be an impossible plot, but escapist enough that it’s not like reading about someone’s everyday life.

May just be the right contemporary book for both you and Mary to try! 🙂

Hey lady
thanks for this interview.
I’d love to read this book. Enter me.
God’s blessings

Hi Christina,
I believe this is a ‘two thumbs-up’ book!
Can’t wait to have the chance to read it!



I really enjoyed your interview with my daughter, Christina, especially since you’re not an avid contemporary fiction reader. That gave it a different slant. I’m quite sure you’re going to find this book a good read that will still take you out of your normal life.
You’ll have to let us know what you think after you read it!


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